This is a story inspired by my friend. It is, of course, an allegory, a metaphor, an embellishment – but the truth is all there inside. It is the story of all women who begin by believing in fairy tales. Women who are brave enough to risk all they have learned from those stories to allow the world in – with everything the world offers in love, heartbreak and sacrifice. To allow it to change them and tattoo them and even strip them of their self-identity for a time.
It is also the story of women who renew their faith in themselves. They have come out of the other side of the tale – not to find a prince or magic castle or pot of gold – but to find a truth and power within themselves that transcends any circumstance.
We find ourselves. We find our wings. We never lost our ability to fly. We had just forgotten that we had wings in the first place. But there they are – ready, strong as ever.
The Faery Wyfe
She came down from the Willows, born of fern and wild rose,
Running paths of verbena and coriander, wings on her feet
Daisy petals barely bending with the light step of her toe
Dancing the swirl of spring seed and dandelion beard
Speeding dust through hanging gardens with her bluebird love
In her crown of lily and starlight, racing time and immortality…
Til one day she glimpsed a boy, a young man of the world
And taking up his heavy hand in her faery one, she tasted the human world
Where paths are hardened and close, where innumerable things weigh down spirit
Where light and ark are sharply divided, but not clear
But her heart called her to love the boy so she put by her starlight crown
And hid her wings and strapped shoes to her feet
Although the innumerable things were all about, she treasured her children
Her family, forgetting sometimes, even herself
The boy grew into a man who loved machines and things and not so much her.
His promises to build her a true house, a loving home, a place
where she could take off the hard shoes, a place to hang the heavy sweaters that covered her shriveled wings,
A place to hang a mirror to reflect her beauty where she could wear her starlight crown just because…those promises faded to shadow over time. His rules threatened to pull off her wings and make her mortal and unspecial.
His vows chained her in a too-small jewelry box.
The innumerable things suffocated her.
His words grew thin and she began to count hours until she could steal moments to go back to her true home and run the verbena and coriander paths.
She sought people who knew her for what she was and
encouraged her flying lessons to strengthen her wings again. Occasionally a smile would break across her face and starlight would follow her. She
thought of her bluebird love and would call to mind the exact cerulean shade of his wings.
She began to fly, slowly at first, uncertain of how high to go or how to land…
Uncertain of nearly everything but what she knew to be true. She had found her wisdom and her own voice and her own joy. For she knew what the man did not know…that faeries are immortal, that wings grow back and grow strong again, that all this time in the human world cannot diminish or darken one moment spent with her bluebird or in her willow woods.
She awoke one bright morning, nestled in the bed of a wild oak, bathed in sunlight, her starlight crown just in reach and her wings feeling strong and rested. She banished some haunting dream of a machine world and the faint ghost of a
boy. She ran through the verbena and coriander paths until her wings lifted her and she rose in joyous flight in the boundless pink dawning.