When Children Had Wings

 

Photo by Jill Wellington


Once upon a time, long ago, all children were born with wings.

Every pair of wings was a beauty and wonder to behold. Some wings were big and bright, made for great adventures over land and sea. Some wings were small and quick, perfect for flying very close to the earth where one can discover the most precious treasures and gifts that others do not always see.

Some wings were dark midnight blue, speckled with shining gemstones and golden jewels, like stars in the night sky. Some wings were red, orange and glittering gold, and when they moved, they looked like dancing flames. Some wings were frosty white and clear blue, like a winter landscape in the moonlight. Some wings were emerald green and earthy brown, like an old, mossy forest.

The children with wings loved to fly and play all day long. Their world was a magical, marvellous place and every day was a new adventure. The children laughed, played and soared the skies until the day came when they had to fly far, far away to a land known as Time.

The land of Time was a very strange place full of tick-tocking things called Clocks. These clocks ruled over all who lived in the Land of Time and those who lived there were the grown-ups. The grown-ups didn’t have wings. They were dressed in black and grey, always looked so tired and grumpy, and never had any fun. They were always in a hurry – rushing this way and that – and constantly chasing after something. What they were chasing after, no one could say. The children wondered if the grown-ups had ever had wings before. What happened to them?

With every day the children spent in the Land of Time, their wings began to dry out. Eventually their wings became so thin and frail, they could barely fly anymore.

One day the children awoke in the morning and felt that something was very different. When they looked down at their beds, they saw the dry, crumbled remains of their wings lying there like broken autumn leaves. The children felt so sad, but the grown-ups were very pleased. The death of a child’s wings was a sign that she or he was ready to grow up.

Photo by Amber Avalona

That night, the children who once had wings had a special dream. In the dream, they heard a soft, sweet song that pulled them out of bed and into the night. The song led out of town and into the woods where a woman was waiting for them. Some say that she was big as a giant with shining golden hair. Others say she was a tiny forest fairy with raven-black hair. What everyone can agree upon is that the mysterious woodswoman had the most enchanting wings ever to see, and she sang with a voice sweet as honey and warm as a summer’s day.

She sang:

Precious child, fly on your way and beyond the Land of Time,

may your heart be full of joy and fun, may your wings grow back again.

The woodswoman’s song reminded the children of their wings and the magical feeling of being able to fly.

In the morning, some children forget the dream. They grew up and let the memory of their wings fall and fade away like old autumn leaves. However, some children woke up in the morning and their eyes were all bright and sparkling. They remembered the dream and took the precious memory of their wings with them in life like the best and most loyal of friends; always there to remind them of whom they really were at heart. They grew up too, but as others grew old and grey with age, those who remembered grew younger and brighter. However old they may have appeared on the outside, in spirit, they were beyond time, and their wings were the most enchanting wings ever to see.

It is said that they eventually flew far away from the Land of Time, to a place so beautiful only song and story might hope to capture it. They found a place so wonderful, only those with wings may ever hope of finding it.

A story by Stina Gray


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