She saw them dancing

Beach Sand, Chesterman Beach, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
In the moving sand
She saw them dancing
The elves and sprites
No one else saw

She found that sad
The world was a more beautiful place
When magical creatures danced
A shame no one else knew the magic

They didn’t dance in this world
Of course, she knew that
She only saw their shadows
Energetic reflections
Crossing the boundary between worlds

“Whatcha doin’ lady?”
The young boy’s voice startled her
Not sure what to say
She felt the loose change in her pocket

Without looking up, she replied
“I think I dropped a quarter here”
Then instantly regretted it
Now the boy would help her find it

The boy peered down at the sand
“Oh, look! Elves!”
The boy’s finger pointed
At the dancing figures

She followed the finger
Back up the arm
To the tousled head of hair
Framed in the afternoon sun

“Yes, Elves. And sprites too”
Then, after a pause
“You see them?”
“Oh yeah! All the time!”

The boy crouched down beside her
“What are they doing? Dancing?”
She smiled
From the center of her being
She smiled

“I think it is the solstice dance”
She whispered, in confidence
Said the boy

They watched together, for a bit
The gentle wavelets
Moving the sand
Revealing the movements
Of magical creatures in another world

Her faith grew with every wave
In herself
In humanity
The world was, indeed
A magical place

The boy broke the peaceful silence
“Over there, the Kobolds and Dwarves
Are having an epic battle
Wanna come watch?”

If it was possible
Her smile deepened
Deepened until she glowed
“No thanks,” she said

“I’ve had rather enough of Kobolds
And Dwarves and their wars
I’m happy here
With the Elves and Sprites”

“Sprites?! What are Sprites?”
She pointed to the sand
Where the Sprites pirouetted
“They’re quite a bit smaller
Than the Elves”, she said

“Oh, wow! And they have wings!”
“Yes”, she agreed, “they do
They hover
Like hummingbirds”

“I’ve never seen a Sprite before”
She nodded her head
“They are pretty shy
But they always come out
For the Solstice Dance”

The boy watched the Sprites
As they flit about
Like squadrons of hummingbirds
Flying in formation
She watched the boy’s wonder

It had been a long time
Since she had known such wonder
The wonder of a child
The wonder no one wanted to take away

But the boy soon grew tired
Of Sprites and Elves
He shifted on his haunches
“I’m going to go watch the battle
Sure you don’t wanna come?”

“No thanks,” she said amiably
“I’m good here with the Solstice”
Then, in a beguiling tone
“The fireworks are about to begin!”

The boy considered that
“The Kobolds were bringing a trebuchet…”
She nodded
“Yes, a trebuchet trumps fireworks
Maybe I will catch up to you later”

With that, the boy popped up
Stepped gingerly around
The dancing Elves and Sprites
Before running and skipping
Off to the battle

She watched the boy for a while
Reminded of her young self
In the boy’s animated gestures
Mimicking the arcs of arrows
The swinging of hammers and swords

She shouted out to the lad
“Do let me know if any dragons appear!”
The boy gave her a thumbs up
Over his shoulder
Attention on the battle unwavering

Then, she surmised
The Kobolds unleashed the trebuchet
For the boy spread his arms wide
The gesture of a mighty explosion

Ahhh, how boys love a good battle
Especially when young
, she sighed
Then returned her attention to the dance
Unfolding in the sand

I do wish I could hear them singing
She thought, not for the first time
Oh well, I can’t live forever
So, soon enough

Beach Sand
Under an ebbing wave
Of the incoming tide
Chesterman Beach
British Columbia, Canada

Taken during travels, 2015

The circle here is, of course, the circle of life. Both, the transfer of secret, arcane knowledge from elder to child, but also the circle of birth/life/death/rebirth suggested in the poem’s final stanza. There are circles, also, in the tides, in the cycle of the moon which drives them, and also in the annual observation of solstice. So… a post responding to the WordPress Photo Challenge this week, Circle.