I wrote this for the “A-Z Challenge” last year. I have been in a bit of a funk recently, and so this post has kind of buried itself into my brain, like a song that plays over and over in my mind. I thought I would repost it, but actually really haven’t figured out how to do that properly.
I wish I had the guts and the wherewithal to be like Xeraphina.
Once upon a time there was a girl named Xeraphina. Xeraphina was a sprightly young girl with a shock of curly red hair. She really hated her red, curly hair, because it was unruly and people would call her “Carrot Top” and “Red”. With fire in her heart, she became quite angry when people called her these names. The elderly ladies, always stopped Xeraphina and her mother, just so they could talk about how they would pay large sums to be blessed with such hair. This puzzled Xeraphina to no end.
As a girl, Xeraphina had many dreams. She dreamed of being a race car driver, a veterinarian, a pediatrician and a traveling journalist. She wrote poetry. She daydreamed. She lay in fields of dandelions and listened to the clouds as they told her a story, while rolling by. She thought everyone was good and believed there was magic in the world. She saw magic in the beauty of the colorful gardens, and heard magic float down around her as the birds sang in the trees. She believed the world was a place of beauty and joy.
Unfortunately this belief in magic was pummeled into almost non-existence as she grew into an adult. She saw the way people schemed and plotted to take from her. She suffered immense disappointment knowing people were not inherently kind to themselves, each other, or the miraculous world in which they lived. Xeraphina absorbed much of the negative energy around her and she became grumpy and disillusioned.
Xeraphina realized she must press on and was coaxed into going to school. Go to school, do well, get good grades and find a job you enjoy – she heard everyone say. No more daydreaming, wake up to reality, the world is harsh, take the bull by its horns, get out there and do something with your life – these were the admonishments she heard over and over. The daydreams slipped away, the fields of dandelions and the tale-telling clouds were just a vague, blurry memory. Xeraphina was being pulled along in a current of unhappy, misdirected humanity. She became angry, thinking this cannot be all there is to this life. Go to work, have any talent go unappreciated, unrecognized and minimized. Pay the bills, pay the taxes and have nothing. The magic had evaporated into a little puff of smoke which was taken by the wind.
The magic returned to Xeraphina when she married and had children. She saw the magic in her tiny baby’s hands, and in the way his lashes dusted the top of his round cheeks while he slept. She saw that same magic, through her child’s eyes when he looked at the flowers and heard the birds singing in the trees. She remembered the fields of dandelions and the clouds and that glimmer of magic blossomed momentarily in her heart.
But her children grew. Xeraphina watched in horror as the childlike amazement and fascination which had once sparkled in her children’s eyes was slowly and undeniably being replaced with the reflection of the flashing lights and screens of video games, cellphones and the staccato strobe like lights of the television. In a feeble attempt to bring back the love of all the beauty around them, she instituted moratoriums – electronics were replaced with hikes in the woods, but the electronics always drew them back in. Xeraphina realized she was fighting a battle she could not win and again the magic faded away.
An interesting happened to Xeraphina at this point in her life, her fiery red hair started to lighten. She thought at first it was the sun lightening her hair, but as her children grew and became more independent in their own minds, her hair lost its fire and one day she noticed she had become a xanthocomic (yellow haired) being. The fire had died both in her hair and in her heart and she blended into the background. She was just merely the person who cleaned out the forgotten leftovers no one else noticed in the fridge. She was just the person with the yellow hair who did the laundry because no one else chose to see the laundry basket had bulged so much the plastic was cracking. She blended into the maize colored walls of the hallway and silently cleaned the blatantly roaming, prolific tumbleweeds of dog hair on the floors. The more silent tasks she performed, the less she was noticed. Her hair, like her heart were translucent and invisible.
Just when Xeraphina thought she might go poof, and completely disappear, she rediscovered a talent which had laid dormant for years, like a spore lays silently waiting in the walls of an old house. While digging around in the bookcase she came across a journal. She found a pen and she wrote, and then she wrote some more and some more and then more. The frantic scribbling seemed to ignite the sleeping spark in her heart and the magic that had been buried in the recesses of her brain came to life in the words, and the phrases. She remembered the things that she loved, she brought the smells, the textures, the sounds and the visions out onto the paper. She felt alive, but was angry that so much of this had been squashed for so long. With this realization, Xeraphina became a xanthippe (ill-tempered woman). She was mad. She said – no more. No more would she allow people to steal the fire from her heart, she was taking it back.
She said good-bye to her family, who no longer really needed her. They grunted their Adieus, while the electronic flickers skittled across the reflection in their eyes. She left, closing the front door to the sounds of the Sci-Fi channel and Vine videos. She walked away – a xanthocomic xanthippe, with the fire building in her heart from the air she deeply inhaled for the first time in years. She traveled extensively, going to exotic places. She smelled the air, laid on the beaches listening to the clouds with their tales shifting in the skies and the ocean waves beating time, and the magic was there again in the plants, the flowers, and the fields. She wrote of her travels, and was able to sell her writings to the magazines. Amidst all of this traveling, she had a revelation. She had become a xanthocomic xanthippe xenodocheionologist (a yellow haired, ill-tempered woman who loved hotels). When she retired from her career as a travel journalist, she moved to Belize and lived out the rest of her life at the X’tan Ha Resort.
Thanks to X’tan Ha Resort website for the photo.