Sometimes being a grown up is a bit boring, so that is a good time to write a fairy tale. I’ve started playing with a fairy tale idea. I’m sharing some of my beginning of telling the tale with you. (Parts I and II)
The Princess writes to the Prince
Dear Prince R . . .,
I greet you so far away and long ago from the time we spent together in the meadows of Romania.
The air here is colder than you might ever imagine on a Mediterranean Island so far to the south of your home. The air holds a dampness that can chill you to the bones without the warmth of family in the salon to gather comfortably in chairs around the fire, telling jokes and playing cards.
Alas, here in our large and empty salon if you were to enter through that sturdy doorway there, at the far side of the table at which I sit, you would find two thoroughly chilly women; one being myself, the other being my dear jittery mother who behaves like a clown that jumps out of a box every time its handle is wound up tight.
Mother imagines she hears father and the rest of the children. They have been gone many days in the ship to trade some goods with those in the small island to the north.
The sea was so clear just like a mirror when they left. Father thought this would be a fine time to let the boys try their hand at seafaring and the two girls they took for a vacation from the confines of the winter house.
That day, the day they sailed away to the north, the air was warm because the sun was as hot as a summer day. Alkuouvidis meres, the summer time of winter had arrived. Usually during Alkuouvidis meres we are guaranteed by the Gods about 5 days of summer weather, sometimes even more.
We use this time of the Gods’ grace to finish up the trading of the season. After which all return to shut the doors on the outside world for a good 6 weeks of winter.
But not this year. Everything is so terribly different this year. Already at the beginning of Alkuouvidis meres, it was the end!
I stayed behind with mother, of course. I couldn’t bear to leave her alone. Not with only the servants. Do you remember? My older sister married now and so far away in that house of her husband.
The servants have no idea how to calm her, Mother, I mean. Nor how to make sure she eats something each day, to cajole her to sing when she is sad, to take a bit of fresh air each day. No, I could not leave her alone with none of her children or her husband.
And the children! They even sneaked their pets onto the ship not even leaving one dog to sit on mother’s freezing feet to keep them warm.
On the night of the day they sailed away we woke after four or five hours of sleep to the crashing of thunder. But there was no rain, no matching shards of lightening and no thunder. The noise was of crashing waves upon the shore. The waves reached high over and beyond the tiny harbor father and his brothers had built when they were young.
Our voyagers could not have reached the island in so few hours upon their leaving. We knew father and the children and all the lovely dogs were reeling and swaying in the ship like a toy boat in a bathtub full of dirty children.
So here we sit, after five days of peering for hours to the north looking for our dear family. Well, mother sits as best she can.
I brought down a large woven cloth we had finished last winter for the couch. Now we sit with yanks of prettily colored yarn embroidering big bursting flowers along each side of the cloth. We are filling each corner with full bouquets.
If still they haven’t returned when we’ve finished these tasks, we will fill each bit of the cloth from one end to the other with flowers so that a spring garden seems to live here on our laps in the middle of winter.
I already pretend that the flowers are real and they are carpeting the small plateau you and I found between the mountains when I visited you in the spring. You remember, surely?
Could that have been only a few short months ago? Now perhaps with these hours of worry I misremember and the time of my visit was many years ago.
When I had that thought I startled to attention, jumped out of my chair to run to the mirror. I looked much the same as I had in the spring. How reassuring that I knew the passing of time was just as it should be.
How silly you must be thinking I am. But if you are laughing I don’t mind, because I admit, I had to laugh at myself! So hard did I laugh I had to explain to mother my strange thoughts. She laughed, too. Can you imagine how wonderful the sound of I her laugh? Yes, I know you can.
Look how much I have written, I would write more but the candle’s flame shakes and dwindles. How many hours do I have to wait until dawn? I have no idea. So my dear I bid you good night and good days until we meet again.
I find while I sew the most beautifully designed flowers I can imagine, my thoughts often drift back to you with great fondness, making my worries much easier to bear.
So I leave you as you know I always am,
the Cretian Princess
The Kingdom of the Prince and his family
I remembered today a story I heard a very long time ago, before you were born and even before I was born.
During the third generation of the Transylvanian Royals l heard of the extraordinary calm and happy people in the kingdom. The kingdom was much admired around the world for its advantageous position between the angle formed where the rugged Carpathian Mountains meet the Transylvanian Alps, and reaching into the Great Hungarian Plain to the Tisza River.
Imagine how lovely the world must have been after only three hundred years since the beginning of time. The air must have been vibrantly fresh, the flowers’ scent throughout the earth and the rivers clear sky blue in color brimming full of life.
The prince I heard about lived on the flat green plain between the mountain ranges. He lived in a village of good-natured people, happy to live in his family’s kingdom.
The village sat just outside the castle walls where you will still find a contemporary village very similar to the olden days. Upon passing from the castle through the textured heavy gates one entered a lovely open courtyard planted with green neatly trimmed grass
At the beginning of the village’s history a rectangular path was formed with round flat river stones so that forever the village people could spend their evenings walking around the courtyard, talking while enjoying the evening air. Some of the elderly sat in stone carved benches as they relaxed to talk with their friends. The children played with striped balls and jump ropes in the grassy field just like today.
The courtyard was quite magical in a very mysterious way. At the most unexpected times of the night or day a cloud drops from the sky to cover the ground in a light, white haze of fog. Each time the mysterious fog lifts and the villagers leave their home to explore they find unusual treasured items.
Visitors came from all over the world drawn by the possibility of seeing the magic of the fog in the courtyard. In this way the Prince met a Princess who had come to his kingdom by ship, by horse and by donkey until finally she arrived at the castle gates.
These two slowly became fast friends, with the unfortunate luck that often befalls young royalty in love, they were soon separated by many, miles of mountain terrain and sea because of their dedication to family.