Hanna woke up one morning and watched as a shaft of sunlight made its way into her room, she stretched and smiled, suddenly remembering that her tooth had fallen out the day before and the tooth fairy might have visited.
Excited, she reached under her pillow and found not only a gold coin, but an old book with a picture of fairies dancing among the stars on its cover.
“Look what I found grandma!” she cried excitedly. Her grandma had come for a visit and Hanna had run to her room to show her the magical book the fairy had left.
“Ah” said her grandma, “the growing-up fairy has been for a visit.”
“The growing-up fairy?” asked Hanna, who had never heard of this little fairy, “but it was the tooth fairy who left me a gold coin” she exclaimed.
Grandma smiled. “When I was a little girl, my grammie showed me a book just like this one, I’ve never forgotten it, nor the story”.
Hanna quickly flicked through the pages, “but there’s no story grandma, just pictures”.
“Pictures tell a thousand words” smiled her grandma kindly, “now let me have a cup of tea and I’ll see if I can remember the story.”
The first picture in the book was of a rainbow of colours winding their way in and out among the stars.
“Now” said grandma, “what do you see when you look at this picture?”
Hanna looked closely. “Lots of stars and planets and these lovely wispy colours weaving their way through them.”
“What do you think the colours are?” asked her grandma.
“A rainbow in outer space?” guessed Hanna. It didn’t look exactly like a rainbow, but it was the closest thing Hanna could think of.
“Well” said grandma, what if I told you it was the fairies of the universe?”
“Huh?” said Hanna. “They don’t look like fairies”.
“Well they certainly don’t look like the kind of fairies we imagine, that’s true” chuckled grandma. “We live on earth where we can see, hear, and touch things, so we tend to imagine fairies being the same way.”
“And they aren’t?” asked Hanna.
“No they are more like the air we breathe, we know it’s there, but we can’t usually see, hear, taste, touch or smell it”.
“But I hear the wind whistling through the trees sometimes” reasoned Hanna.
Grandma agreed that sometimes it was easier to know the wind was there when you could see and hear it swishing around other things.
“So fairies are more like wind?” asked Hanna.
“Yes” her grandma replied, “like the air that we breathe, fairies are everywhere, we just don’t see them.
“And they even dance among the stars like this rainbow of lights here?”
“Those colours could just be called gas, since we can see them, but they are like the fairies dancing among the stars - fairies of the universe are everywhere, they are the stars and the coloured gas and the planets and all the space in between.”
Grandma could see Hanna was trying to figure out what she was saying. So she turned over the page in the book.
There they found a pretty picture of a little fairy that looked a bit like Hanna with shortish blond hair.
“So why do we draw pictures of fairies that look like this?” she asked grandma.
“So that we can relate to them."
“What does relate mean?” asked Hanna, getting confused.
Grandma thought for a moment and said “Do you remember that time you met a little boy at the park and he was really friendly, you were getting along really well then all of a sudden he started being mean for no reason?”
Hanna nodded. “Well, you couldn’t understand why he suddenly started being mean, it’s just a different way of saying you couldn’t relate to how he was behaving.”
“So we imagine fairies like little people with wings to help us understand them better?” said Hanna. “Can they fly and do magic?”
“Yes” said grandma, “they just don’t need a body, or wings or a wand to do it, they can magic up anything the second they think of it.”
“But we can’t see it?”
“That’s right. Before things are things, they are just thoughts, and thoughts are just energy – which, like air – you can’t see. Fairies don’t need to see things to believe them, especially since they can’t see themselves, they just feel them and know they are there.”
“I wish we could do that” thought Hanna.
Grandma could sense Hanna was beginning to understand. So she took a deep breath and said “You can, in a sense, because you are a fairy”.
Grandma turned over the page and there was a beautiful fairy emerging from the water.
“Imagine all that energy was water instead of air this time, and the fairy decided she’d like to be in a body, see how she is coming out of the water, some of the energy has changed into the fairy, some of it is still water.”
“So you are saying that I was like the air, or the water, and one day decided to be a person?”
“Yes” said grandma, and some of you got born into this world, but most of your energy is still dancing among the stars.”
“So why don’t I remember any of this?” asked Hanna, more than a little confused.
“Well when we are born into our world, it would be too much to try and remember everything we know and focus on just being here and getting used to being in a body for starters” replied grandma.
“Why do we decide to come here if we can’t fly or do magic?” asked Hanna
“Ah” said grandma, “that is a big question, it comes down to having fun.”
“It does?” said Hanna, looking confused. To her, dancing among the stars seemed a lot more fun.
“Well, yes. When you play games with your friends, you do that for fun. Well, when you aren’t in a body, being born into a new life is just a more complicated game that takes a bit longer, but when you have lived as long as the fairies of the universe, our life seems quite short. The fact that you can’t remember life before this makes it all the more enjoyable to rediscover.”
“What happens after this life, when we die?” asked Hanna
“We do what everything does, we become something else, maybe we decide to just dance among the stars for a while, maybe we decide to play another game, be born into another life, maybe a butterfly this time” grandma smiled.
Hanna was thinking about everything her grandma had told her, when her grandma turned the next page to look at some girls together who all looked like they were feeling bad in some way.
“Why is this in here?” Hanna asked her grandma, it doesn’t look like they are having fun.”
“You’re right” said grandma, “this is one of the reasons we like to play the game of life here. When you are a fairy of the universe, you always feel good, you can’t help it, it’s the only way to feel.”
“So we came here to feel bad?” asked Hanna. “That doesn’t make sense, you said we came to have fun.”
“Can you remember, Hanna, when you were learning how to ride your bike? You got frustrated and disappointed when you kept wobbling and falling over, you even got really angry at one point and wanted to give up. But how did it feel when you finally kept going and realised you were actually riding?” asked her grandma.
“It felt amazing” admitted Hanna.
“That’s it” said grandma. “If you had just got on your bike and rode off first time, it wouldn’t have been as great as it did when you finally figured out how to do it. You learned something about balance and momentum, you learned how to persevere and you learned the joy in overcoming a challenge.”
Hanna didn’t understand all the words grandma had used, but she got what she was meaning.
“So by feeling bad sometimes we learn to appreciate our good feelings more?” asked Hanna.
“Yes, and we discover new things about the world and our self” added grandma. “There’s something else too, and this is important, bad feelings tell us that the fairies of the universe don’t agree with what we are thinking at that moment. When we feel angry, we often blame other people or situations; when we feel frustrated, that often goes hand in hand with feeling a bit hopeless, that we just can’t do it, whatever it is; and when we feel sad we think life isn’t fair. The bad feelings tell us that the fairies of the universe don’t agree, they believe in us and believe everything will be okay, we just have to be kind to our self and others and try again or try something else, just like a fairy would, and we will start to feel better.”
“I get it” said Hanna, “when I feel bad, I can just ask myself what the fairies of the universe would think or do and I’ll start to feel good again?”
“That is right honey.”
“What’s this next picture grandma?”
Her grandma looked at a captivating picture of two little fairies sitting in the forest looking into what looked like a small treasure box that glowed with light.
“I think this is the fairies way of telling us that the real treasure in life is found in nature” she replied. “When you see pictures of fairies, where do they usually seem to live and spend their time?”
“Outside” said Hanna “in the garden mostly.”
“That’s right” said grandma “our life in this world can be very busy, and full of things that don’t always make us feel good. Often people who feel that way seek out treats for comfort, and switch on the TV so they can switch off their feelings. When we do that, it makes it harder for the fairies of the universe to help us. They are telling us that nature can provide comfort and help us find our better feelings, being in nature makes it easier for the fairies of the universe to help us.”
“Oh” said Hanna as she thought about the fun she had playing outside, it did usually make her feel better.
“Does everyone believe in the fairies of the universe grandma?” she asked, wondering why she had never heard about them before.
“Each person gets to choose what they want to believe. Some people believe in fairies of the universe, some call them angels, or guides, or higher self, others just talk about spirit or God, or the universe. Since they are like air, and you can’t see them, you can only decide what you believe in your own heart” grandma replied.
“Some people don’t believe in anything more than what they can see, hear, taste, touch and smell, and that is okay too” she went on.
“What do you believe?” asked Hanna.
“I believe I’m a fairy of the universe who is playing a little game as a person here on earth. I’m really enjoying the game, as I get to have you for a granddaughter” she smiled and hugged Hanna. “But what I believe isn’t really important, it’s what you believe that is important. My hope for you is that you believe something that makes you feel good, and helps you to enjoy life and get the most out of it.”
Hanna thought that made a lot of sense. Though it made her wonder about people who seemed to feel bad a lot of the time, and were grumpy and mean, like one of her old friends Eliza, or the teacher she had had for a little while, Mr Smith. Then there was the old lady next door who seemed sad all the time and the man they had met at the doctors who had been sick a lot. She wondered what they believed.
“It’s a shame the fairies can’t help the people who feel bad” Hanna said, thinking aloud.
Grandma smiled “Whether people believe in them or not, fairies always try to help us. Things happen all the time that people called coincidences, that aren’t really.”
“What’s a coincidence?” Hanna asked.
“Well” grandma said as she thought how to explain what it meant “a coincidence is when something helpful happens that you weren’t expecting.”
Suddenly Hanna had a thought “at school I hear a lot about God and Heaven” she said, “If the fairies of the universe are sometimes called God, is that the same thing school is talking about?”
Hanna could tell her grandma was thinking hard before she answered. “Sometimes” she answered. “A lot of what you hear about in school is part of Christianity, a religion that celebrates the life of someone who lived long ago that they call Jesus Christ. Some Christians worship Jesus Christ, thinking that only he knows all the answers, some see him as the son of God – a God who passes judgment on people and their lives and hands out rewards or punishments – I think Jesus would be very sad about that.”
“Who do you think Jesus was grandma? Do you think he was real?” asked Hanna.
“I think Jesus was real, and I think he was a son of God only in the same way you are a daughter of God – each of us are an expression of God, or fairies of the universe, and Jesus knew it. He knew that we all deserve kindness, and he could feel his connection to each and every person, and the fairies of the universe, strongly; he always saw the best in others and believed in miracles.”
“How come he died then?” Hanna wondered.
“Well we all die, the game ends at some point and we return to dance in the stars, having grown all the more for the experience. There are many religions Hanna, most of them centre around a person who lived their lives in a way that showed they understand how the universe works and the secrets of our life here. Many people worship the teacher and create all sorts of ceremonies and rules around that, rather than just taking from the teachings what they feel to be true in their own hearts, and living the very best life here that they can.”
Hanna wasn’t sure she understood all that, nor was ready to, she just let it wash over her for now and turned the page.
“What’s this last picture?” Hanna asked.
Grandma smiled as she looked at a picture of a child asleep in bed dreaming about fairies. “That is a special secret” she said “each night when you close your eyes and go to sleep you stop focusing on the game here in our world. So where do you think you go?”
“To dance among the stars with the fairies of the universe?” guessed Hanna.
“Yes, like the picture of the fairy who emerged from the water, except you are sinking back into the water without your body and becoming your true self for a while. You dance among the stars having all sorts of adventures. Talking of which,” said grandma, “isn’t it time for us to get dressed and go on today’s adventure?”
Hanna looked up from the book, as the sun shone warmly on her back she remembered that today they were going to take a walk to a beautiful waterfall in a nearby forest. “Perfect” she thought, “perhaps we shall see the fairies of the universe dancing in the sunshine between the leaves and water spray.”
Although she hadn’t said it our loud, she knew her grandma was thinking the same thing. So they hugged and went to get ready for their next big adventure.
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