In the trees nearby hang tiny lanterns of every shape and colour, moving gently in the wind. Pine cones of all sizes lay scattered all over the table, amongst a buffet of fruits and cookies, salad, vegetables and nuts, ham and chicken, lemonade and tea to please her guests. A fire was burning to keep the mosquitoes away. On this clear night the stars shone brightly, and I saw fireflies up in the sky. She felt a soft, warm summer wind on her face, and heard it gently rustle the branches and leaves. In the distance was the sound of wolves howling.
Then the guests began to arrive: a flock of squirrels jumped onto the table, found a pile of nuts, and then climbed up in the nearest tree to feast up there; two brown bunnies with long ears found their way to the carrots on the table, and dug right in. While they were busy eating, two elegant deer stepped forward to the fruit and salad; and high up in an old oak tree an old owl sat watching over all the guests, and he sang for a while, “ooh-hoo, ooh-hoo,” before he flew out and grabbed a few insects and landed on the table to help himself at the buffet.
Lastly appeared the guests of honour, two majestic wolves. They came to greet her, lay their heads in her lap while her tiny hands patted them on their heads, caressed their faces and embraced them, and she buried her face in their soft fur, her eyes were shining, and her heart sang with happiness, for they were her totems, her spirit animals. Then she and the wolves shared the chicken and ham.
After eating they went to a little pond nearby, to drink of the fresh, cold water; she watched the beautiful water-lilies that floated silently, and gazed at a funny-looking frog who sat on a huge leaf in the middle of the pond. Later they returned to the table to enjoy the rest of the feast together with all of the other guests. She danced for a while around the fire, laughing and giggling as her little ponytail fluttered in the wind; then she sat down to drink tea and lemonade, looked at the stars and admired the magical moving curtains of the northern lights.
When the party was over, she folded her tiny hands, and said an evening prayer of gratitude before she lay down in her sleeping bag by the fire. Two cold noses kept her company and guarded her through the night, under the light of sparks rising from the fireplace.
In her sleep she was accompanied by her Appa, and she reached out her hands and said “I’ve missed you so much!”, gave him a big hug and lay her head upon his shoulder. In this peaceful, healing embrace their souls travelled to the gate of Heaven. She got a little peek inside before her Appa said “I will meet you here, when you are ready. My shining star, my beloved little girl of the land of the Morning Calm.” Before he turned to leave he kissed his daughter gently on the cheek and said “Be brave. Remember that I never left you, and will not ever, as long as you have me in your heart.” Then he whispered a soft “Goodbye,” and like a wind he was gone.
Then the morning arrived, and as she awoke and opened her brown eyes, tiny tears fell to the ground. The wolves nudged her with their noses, her arms still clutching their fur. They licked her hands and waved their tails, and she said goodbye to them as the sun began to rise above the horizon. The morning dew disappeared off leaves and petals wherever the sunlight fell, and she happily embraced this new day because she knew now that it was full of new opportunities, and there would be new dreams too. And maybe she would once more meet her father in those dreams, and encounter other powerful, loving energies, perhaps meet her guides, her protecting angels in other realms. Deep inside she had at last reached for the stars and begun her journey to higher grounds, seeking peace, love and freedom for her soul.