A little boy

Starry Night, Van Gogh

I’m going to tell you a story.

I found a child sitting on a wooden chair on an empty stage, dark but for the spotlight stark upon him. I knelt beside him, unfolded my wings wide and soft, spoke softly.
“Is something bothering you?”
He showed me shadows of towering dinosaurs, outlined around us as though by firelight.
“That is frightening, isn’t it?” I nodded. “How about if we—”
I conjured a small burning branch in my hand. “Just like this—puzah!
I brandished the branch at the dinosaur, which instantly became a chicken in midair, flapping and clucking and feathers flying everywhere.
We both laughed as the chicken scampered away.
“Here, you try it.” I handed him the branch.
We waited a moment for another dinosaur to appear, and then, “Puzah!”
It worked for him too. And it was so funny.
“You can keep this branch with you always,” I explained. “When you don’t need it, it will shrink into your hand. When the dinosaurs come, you just strike out your hand and say puzah! and voila—chicken. Let’s try it again.”
We practiced some more, and laughed until our sides ached.
“Are you ready to go to bed now?” I asked; he agreed.
He climbed into his bed and I sat beside him.
“I will sit with you until you fall asleep,” I said.
He leaned against me like we were reading a book together.
I looked around the room, around the night outside. It was awfully dark.
“Do you think the branch will work on the general dark, too?” I asked him. “If we brandish the branch against the dark, what will it turn into? Snowflakes? Or perhaps a night sky full of stars, and us with our family around a campfire, snuggled against our grandparents, laughing and singing and telling stories until our eyes droop?”
“I would make it us, just like this,” he said, turning to look up at me, smiling.
“I would make it us, too,” I agreed, and hugged him close.
“Okay now, snuggle in here,” I finally said. “I will sing a prayer for you.”
His eyes fluttered and closed softly and he sighed against his pillow as I sang, as my prayer surrounded him and the dark night turned to lavender. My heart throbbed with the effort, my image expanded until the lavender angel engulfed the dark completely with peace.

O Lord, enlighten my sight by beholding Thy lights in this dark night, and make me happy by the wine of Thy love in this wonderful age.
~ from the midnight prayer by ‘Abdul-Baha

Van Gogh Starry Night image
“Van Gogh – Starry Night – Google Art Project” by Vincent van Gogh – bgEuwDxel93-Pg at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg#/media/File:Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg








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