It was such a joy to receive your letter. It brought such a bright smile to my face and with everything we have been through, it was needed.
Liam is such a dear man. Lenora is so fortunate to have him for a Grandda. I consider myself blessed beyond abundance to get to be a part of his life. I did not know my own father, but I am certain he was a wonderful man if he is but half the person Liam is.
I am happy to inform you that my curse, thankfully, has been lifted. My Robin said the same thing you did about my being brave. Ah, Jasper, I suppose bravery comes in many forms. I did not feel brave, not in the least. I was plenty scared, but I knew my Robin would bring me back. He did it once before, so there was no doubt he would and could do it again.
I suppose I should take a few steps back and tell you all that happened. Ah, this is yet another story that will give you much to think about, for it deals with both Light and Dark magic and of witches and fairies.
As I said in my first letter, an horrible accident with Alchemy befell me and I literally died. There is a story in Greek Mythology I love called Orpheus and Eurydice. Ah, such a sad story! My heart bleeds every time I hear it. I think the best teller of the story is Lenora, for she tells it in such a way that makes me feel as though I am there watching it unfold before me. Dear me, I digress!
Like Orpheus, my Robin came to the world of the spirits to collect me. We are so fortunate that it was Mother helping us, for she had the ability to send him. When he arrived, he needed to look for me. During this, he was greeted not so warmly by an unfriendly old fairy called Flora. We do not know why she was there, for she had not died. Also, I find it odd that such a horrible person, which we know her to be, would end up being in such a beautiful place.
Robin did find me, and I was allowed to return because I had died prematurely. Thankfully, our outcome was much happier than poor Orpheus’s was. Even so, I was ill for a while afterward because being in such a distraught state had made me weak even before the accident occurred.
It wasn’t until much later when we discovered what Flora had done. We had tried everything to conceive a child but nothing worked. Silvan, who is a fairy, was the one to reveal that something out of the ordinary was wrong. You see, fairies can see and read auras. Silvan saw something in mine that disturbed him. It was through him that we found out what happened. While Robin ran toward me in the world of the spirits, Flora fired a curse at his back. When Robin made physical contact with me, the curse was transferred from my Robin to me. Neither of us felt a thing and so were unaware that anything untoward had happened.
To lift the curse, it needed to be done in the world of the spirits since that was where it originated. It meant that I had to die again. We are so very blessed that Silvan had the knowledge to do it and that he was willing to help us. To remove the curse, either the fairy who cast the curse would have to do it or another fairy knowledgeable in these rare curses would have to. Regardless of the danger, Silvan unquestioningly was willing to help us and for that, I will be eternally grateful to him.
For me, the hardest part was seeing what it did to my poor Robin. Not much shakes him, for he is a brave and strong constable. Watching me die, however, broke his heart. It broke mine to see him in such a state. I wish never, ever to bring him that kind of pain again.
As I knew he would, Robin came for me and all of us returned safely. I feel as though I have climbed Mt. Everest. Still, it is not over yet. I’m sure Flora will find out what we have done, so we need to catch her before she gets the…uh,,.hop (?) on us. According to Fae law, Flora broke some major rules and will have to pay for her crimes. We will be rallying our forces to get her tonight. However, Mother says we need to take some time to recover, so I am using this time to answer your letter, dear friend. I am certain I will have much to tell you when next I write.
You say the stories Liam and I tell you give you so much to think about and how you think about them in a special corner of the mind. I am certain I understand. When I remember my life before traveling to modern times, it feels like it was someone else’s life and not my own. I was a different person then and feel I have grown so much as a person since being here. Does that make sense?
It brought such a lightness to my heart as I read about your orchard and how you planted the lemon. You are right about there being unseen presences around such places. Although we cannot see them, they are there. My mother always told me stories of families of fairies making things grow with their special magic. I had never met a real fairy myself until Liam and Lenora came into my life. Lenora’s son Landon is married to a sweet fairy named Crystal. Crystal is the daughter of the Fairy Queen and Silvan is the adopted brother of Queen Ella. Another of Robin’s cousins, Carson, has undergone the transformation to become a fairy and is engaged to Queen Ella. They will be having a double wedding with Aurora and Silvan, which will be such a glorious occasion.
Och, I digress again! Anyway, Mother has told me many stories about the things fairies do while remaining unseen by most humans. Perhaps a special fairy will tend your lemon and help it blossom into a lovely tree. Mother says to never turn your back on something because it seems implausible. Inexplicable things can and often do happen and if an open mind is kept, a wealth of opportunities will arise. I will ask Silvan to send some of his lovely magic your way so a healthy and beautiful tree may greet you one day.
You are a man of many talents, Jasper. I am certain many people will find enjoyment and pleasure from your mural. A bit of extra color in the world is a lovely way to bring about some much needed smiles.
I, too, love to paint and draw. During the times when I especially missed my mother, it was comforting to bring to life my memories of her and our time together. It was almost like having her with me, and it gave me hope that I would see her again one day. It seems like such a lifetime ago.
You can imagine my reaction the first time I visited a modern day bookstore and library and saw such a vast array of books. I thought I was in Heaven when I discovered how easy it was to obtain a book. In my time, most women did not know how to read or write. Even many men were illiterate. I was fortunate to have Mother as a teacher, for she taught me things that a woman of my time would never dream of learning. So when I feasted my eyes on all those books, I had a difficult time choosing what to read. I wanted to devour all of them at once! I liken it to overeating. You indulge in something you love but too much at once can bog you down.
What was it like being a professor of literature? I never dreamed there were classes to actually study a certain genre of stories. My eyes have been opened to so many amazing things since my trip through time.
If you would have asked me that question about courage a couple years ago, I would have shrugged and told you that it is not me who is courageous. My mother is courageous, as is Liam and Lenora. I never felt brave or courageous at all. In fact, there are things that have happened in my life that have scared me senseless. Magic gone wrong can be extremely frightening. I shall tell you stories of that in another letter if that is of interest to you.
But now, I suppose I’ve had to call upon courage I never knew I possessed. Being willing to enter the world of the spirits takes courage. As beautiful as it is, it poses many dangers to travel there. Plus, i will have to perform some magic I swore I would never use again in order to stoop Flora. Looking back, traveling through time, I suppose, is a courageous act. I did not have a choice in that matter but I trusted my mother implicitly and understood she knew what was best.
So, I suppose to answer your question, I find my courage from knowing I have a loving and supportive family to aid me. Most battles cannot be won alone, and I am so blessed to have so many loved ones around me.
The story of your wife’s illness and passing was beautiful, yet so sad. It is said that those who know they are to die imminently acquire a certain peace and even a glow from within. It’s as if they catch a glimpse of the next life and are completely at peace with what is to happen. It is beautiful but it does not make it easy for the ones left behind. It is hard to find peace when you know your loved one is about to be snatched away.
The grace you described is a lovely experience and comes in many forms. I believe I witnessed such grace when Lenora returned to us. She’d been through such a horrific ordeal and would have had every right to be a changed person. But you know what? Lenora remained the same Lenora we all love so dearly. She was more concerned about us and helping everyone recover from the aftermath of her absence. To me, that is utterly remarkable, and I admire Lenora so much.
Your family sounds so delightful, dear Jasper. How lovely to have your grandniece to brighten your days. Enjoy her while she is young. Liam tells me Lenora grew up way too quickly for his liking. I wonder how quickly time will flow once Robin and I have our own child to love and care for.
The mind is a curious thing. Do you know that we use only a small portion of our brain? From reading one of Robin’s psychology books, most of a person’s brain goes unused. It made me think about those of us who have these extra abilities. Mayhap those who possess the ability to perform magic use a portion of our brain that goes unused by most everyone else. I have never experienced modern day brain testing, but I am curios if perhaps there are differences in mine or Mother’s brain compared to someone who does not possess magical abilities.
I once read a story by Stephen King called Carrie. It was about a young girl who was telekinetic. Her schoolmates were very unkind to her because she was different. Their horrible “jokes” led to Carrie losing sight of everything except exacting a bloody revenge on those who had wronged her. It was a disturbing story, indeed! At the end of the book, it was mentioned that there were differences in her brain, for areas that were normally unused were more developed in her case.
I do love hearing about people’s day-to-day lives. Even in the mundane, a degree of magic can be found. But, you are right. Typical certainly does not describe my life or the lives of those I love. Most people would find it hard to believe. Robin says I ought to write a book about my life. It makes me blush every time he says it, for there are others who live a far more exciting life than I do. Mayhap if I get a long holiday from work, it will be a project to work on. Also, it might be a nice keepsake to leave to my children for them to remember me after I am gone.
I thank you so deeply for your heartfelt well wishes for my safety and recovery. It touches me so greatly to know of your great concern for me. It is no wonder Liam cares about you so much, You are a wonderful, kind man, dear Jasper, and I am so fortunate to have gotten to know you.
My very best wishes and lots of love,