Part Two-The Return
Once upon a time when the full moon rose above the treetops.
The cool night created a rolling fog that covered the garden with mystery and made the fountains sound louder yet softened the sound of the rusted garden gate opening. Just like my visit years ago I could hear soft footsteps muffled in the distance. The Shadow Dancers gathered by the large fountain in the center of the garden. Fireflies flicker across the water lighting up the night sky, sparkling and reflecting the light, luminous on the white clothing of the dancers.
Her hair is copper with streaks of bronze. Her eyes are violet like the moonflowers that open each night. Her lily-white dress only shows the sun’s reflection off the moon when the moon is full. She quietly sits in the garden, counting the stars and dreaming of when he will again be able to see her.
She is forever there, blowing the sweet smell of jasmine to tickle his nose and remind him of her. The subtle sun stains that appear as the fog lifts, the reflection of her dress off the morning mist. He cannot see her during those times, but she sees him. She notices him and knows he is searching for her, but alas, her magic is only visible when the moon is full.
She watches as he seems sad to see the garden overflowing with weeds and a rusted garden gate, but all reflect who she is. The days turn into nights and the nights into days. She sees the beauty in the wildflowers and the rusted garden gate. They reflect the copper locks on her head that frame her face and wait for the full moon’s entrance to be once again visible.
She dreams of again holding his hand and dancing to the sounds of the night. She plays her harp softly for those shadow dancers whom partners can remain. She has learned that although the times are few, the need for him to continue without her is necessary. He has a purpose that she tries desperately to convey. The words he utters, the images he conjures up with the simple symphony of letters, making a word, making a sentence, creating stories filled with magic and mystery. She cannot be selfish and must continue to share her companion with the world of light.
She glances up to the sky; the moon is full. He will be here soon. She rests and awaits his arrival quietly in the field of clovers.
With a racing heart I looked for her, my Shadow Dancer, longing to hold her hand as I once had many years ago as we walked along the pathways, smelling the Jasmin and Honeysuckle. I wonder will she be here tonight on this full moon. The healing moon, where all things are possible and the shadow dancers gather to dance, illuminated like ghosts in the moonlight.
It is in the darkest night that the Shadow Dancers live, yet they stay hidden within the depths of the garden. They wander the night unseen even by the believers, living a sad empty existence unable to reach through the thin veil to find their loved ones. On that magical night when the full moon shines brightly, the moonflowers will bloom, the plant that awakens romance and gifts us with a scent of lemon.
The blackcurrant moonflower graces the main path to the fountain, and I see you walking toward me, a slight smile on your face as the moonbeams bathe your white dress with brilliance and light. Your hand reaches out for me taking my hand and leading me to the secret grotto where we will dance until the moon sets and the dawn renders the dancer unseen, becoming like shadows living quietly behind the veil. This is our time for love, for believing in the dance, and embracing the night.
I gift her with evening primrose, soft with the colors of pink, white, and yellow. She places the flowers in a stone vase on the pathway wall and we dance, we talk, and I read her poetry and tell her of my life and how I miss her. We long for the full moon when the veil opens and for a few hours we can be together, but the morning grows near, and she knows that I must leave the garden.
We walk toward the gate hand in hand, silent, not knowing what to say yet wanting to say so much. We long to empty our heart, giving voice to our love. I realize with a sadness that my hand is empty, and the garden is returning to weeds, rusty gates, and looking back I see the evening primroses laying on the walkway watered with our tears. A whispered goodnight echoes through the garden, then the dawn light breaks the treetops, and the veil closes until the moonflowers bloom once again.