Elf Salon ~ featured elf

The Elf Salon spotlights different elves from the Gallery and tells the stories of my encounters with them. It will be updated periodically, so please check back the next time you're in the neighborhood. The Salon is now featuring:

Juniper

Juniper

"Itís as good a name as any; the berries are blue."

His eyes wonít meet mine. I can see his eyes, but they are hooded, shielded somehow, so that I canít see into them ~ something I find that I very much want to do. If only he would let me. It is frustrating at first, until I finally understand that he is trying to protect me.

Juniper looks sweet and child-like. He resembles the classic Victorian child-fairy, only much larger ~ the size of a human child ~ and without wings. He glows softly with a blue luminescence. We are in a deep ancient forest, a Forest Primeval. It is night. Juniper is a nocturnal sort, and, contrary to his appearance, he is very old ~ at least as old as the Forest itself.

He communicates in silence, without words. As I stand next to him, washed by his soft blue light, understanding comes. Knowing is.

I wonder why it is dangerous for me to meet his gaze, since he obviously means me no harm. The answer, the knowing, comes that it is because of his great age and the powerful magic he bears. For a human to look into the eyes of such a one is a deep process, a journey, a transition from one state of being into another. No one can pass through that gaze unchanged ~ and it is not yet my time to change in that way.

I am not prepared, not ready. I feel a longing, a pleading inside me. "Someday. . . " his silence promises.

I accept this with a sense of loss and great relief.

"Watch,"he tells me as he takes a step. Effortlessly, easily, he lifts a foot and quicker than I can blink, steps from the forest floor to the highest branches of an ancient, tall tree. Where before his blue light had illuminated the space around us, now I stand in blackness, and he glows so high above me that I can scarcely see anything of him except his pale shimmering light.

I know that he is showing me something important. I concentrate, focusing all my attention on him, willing myself to see, to understand.

Like a blurred picture zooming into focus, the details of his form, so far above me, sharpen into clarity. I can see him standing weightlessly on the top branch of that very tall tree, parts of his body obscured by leafy growth. His face, illuminated by that pure blue luminescence, smiles gently down at me.

Gracefully, he stretches out one long pale arm and extends his index finger, pointing at a far star. Or ~ summoning it? So it appears, for without seeming to move at all, the star instantly descends to his fingertip.

One moment it was a faint, distant, pinpoint of light twinkling in the inky dark sky and the next it is brilliance in the tree tops, dancing on the end of Juniperís pale blue finger, its light merging with his own, extending from it.

I watch, groping for understanding. What is this he is showing me? What am I supposed to learn?

The star leaps off of Juniperís finger and speeds into the sky ~ finger, hand, arm, then elf following. The blue luminescence of him becomes a single beam of light stretching between the tree top and that far away star.

Starlight, I think. He travels on starlight. He spans space and time moving as light among the stars. It sounds preposterous, but I know that it is true.

I become aware that I am hearing a high, clear tone ~ a single note or chord, I canít tell which. It is stretched thin at the moment and I know that this sound is part of the starlight; part of Juniper, part of his message to me. They are one and the same.

I am being lured into this sound, transmuted by it somehow. My consciousness is no longer earthbound as I try to follow, try to relax, to let it carry me.

Now, I too, am stretched thin, just at the outer limits of my being.

For an eternal instant I am aware of myself as part of a multi-dimensional web of light, of life, of time and space, sound and movement ~ all linked, all the same: small sparks of awareness moving along infinite strands of light.

And then it is too much. The chord snaps back and I am back inside myself, standing on the floor of the ancient forest. Juniper is standing next to me, smiling, gently luminescing.

Full of wonder, I try to understand this strange and powerful being and the lesson he is giving me. I wonder why/how he had come to me, how I had come to paint his portrait.

His smile brightens and he deliberately strikes a pose. He is telling me that he came to me on purpose and "sat" for the portrait. He wanted me to see him; it amused him that I had to paint him in order to do so.

"And, the name, the name that came with the picture? Juniper?" I wonder, somewhat irrelevantly, "Is that really your name?"

"Why not?" The answer comes with a hint of gentle laughter, "It is as good a name as any. The berries are blue."