The Giant

Many, many moons ago I was approached by an acquaintance, asking me to write a collection of short stories for children. The project would be illustrated and published for a local school. Unfortunately, it never manifested. I recently decided to dust off the stories I wrote, do a bit of editing to freshen them up, and publish them here. I hope you enjoy them.

It was a day much like any other, or so it was to begin with.  The Giant made their way through the forest which was said to be older than the keeping of time.  It was also said that the trees never understood our need to track time in such small increments which were of no true meaning in the grand scheme of things. 

The Giant wasn't pondering anything in particular when a voice floated down from the trees.

“Who!”

“Pardon me?”

“Who!  Who are YOU?”

It was an Owl, sitting on a branch high above the Giant's head.

“I am a Giant.” they replied.

“You must be mistaken.  You cannot be a Giant.  You’re not tall enough.”

“But I am.  I am a Giant.”

“I’m afraid I must disagree.  I’ve seen many a Giant in my day.  Yes, many a Giant has passed this way and I can assure you that a Giant you are not!”


How could this be? That can't be right. But they were an Owl and everyone always said that if you ever had a question, you should find an Owl, for they are the keeper of all answers.  The Giant had never known an Owl to be wrong, but then they’d never known an Owl at all so it was hard to say either way.  Besides, it was rude to argue.  Giant or not, they didn’t want to be considered rude.

 

“I thought I was a Giant.” they said.

“Who said you were a Giant?”

“No one.”

“Then why do you think you are one?”

“I don’t know.  I guess I just assumed.”

“Assumptions, my dear, will cause the downfall of Man.”

“You are wise beyond my understanding, Owl.  Please tell me, if I’m not a Giant, then what am I?”

“Not what, WHO.”

“Who, then?  Who am I?”

“Who, indeed.”

“Yes.”

“Exactly.”

“Pardon?” asked the Giant. This was very confusing.

“Follow the sun until it leads to the sea.  There you will find you.  There you will be.”

“Thank you very…”

And with that, the Owl flew away.

“…much.” the Giant said to themselves.

 

A tear slid down their cheek.  The Giant felt as though they had lost something very dear. Everything that was once familiar now felt strange.  How were they to act?  What if someone happened along and asked who they were?  They couldn’t say they were a Giant, could they? 


 I can’t touch the clouds,

as they go rolling by.

If I’m not a Giant

then what am I?

What am I?

 

I can’t stop the eagle

From sailing ‘cross the moon

If I’m not a Giant

will I be soon?

Will I be soon?

 

I should be moving mountains

or strolling ‘cross the sea

If I can’t be a Giant

what can I be?

Can I be?


Sadness overcame the Giant.  They sat right down where they were and cried.  The leaves on the trees trembled, for they had never seen the Giant sad.  The breeze stopped altogether, for fear of upsetting the Giant further.  The sun tried hard to warm the Giant but the effort went unnoticed.  After a time, a voice was heard.

 

“Seems a shame for one so young,

to turn away from summer sun.

To choose instead the cold of fear,

and shed even a single tear.

When a friend is so very,

very near.”

 

The Giant looked up, their eyes red and puffy from crying.  A crow was standing on a tree stump, smiling at them.

“Hello”, the Giant whispered, wiping their face as best they could.

“You sit beneath a sunny sky. 

You could play,

instead you cry.

Why is this, ask I?

Why oh why oh why oh why?”

“I don’t know who I am.  I thought I was a Giant but the Owl said I wasn’t and now I don’t know what to do.”

“There, there, my dear.

What you’ve lost

I’ll help you find

if my company

you don’t mind.”

“Really?  You would help me?”

“For you,

across the miles I’d go.

The name,

William Roderick Crow.”

 “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Crow”

 “Mr. Crow?

That simply will not do.

Call me William, please

Will you?”

 

The Giant giggled a little.  They never met anyone who spoke the way William did.

 

“I’m very happy to have met you today, William.”

 

William bowed low and said,

“The pleasure is mine, my dear.

Now please tell me,

what happened here?”

 

The Giant explained.  William pondered their words, walking back and forth across the tree stump, stroking the underside of their beak with one wing. 

 

“Follow the sun until it leads to the sea?

There you will find you?

There you will be?

Hmmm…

It seems a sort of mystery, my friend.

Something we should follow through to its’ end.”

 “You’re absolutely right.  If I want to find out who I am, I have to go look.  I certainly won’t find anything at all sitting here in a puddle of my own tears, now, will I?”

 

The Giant stood up right there and then, took a deep breath and turned their attention to the sky. 

 

“Follow the sun until it leads to the sea.  How long do you think it will take us to get there?”

“Hard to say, for it seems that I

Measure the distance as the crow flies.

You travel by foot instead.

I will, at times, fly on ahead

to circle back that I might advise

what I’ve seen with these dark eyes. 

The decision, always yours to make.

The journey?  Ours both to take.”

 

That seemed to be William's way of saying they weren't sure.

 

“Well, since I don’t have anything pressing to attend to, shall we depart?”

“Once upon this daytime splendour

An Owl’s words, we did ponder.

Their meaning will remain unknown

should we decide to stay at home.”

 

With that, the Giant turned toward the sun and William took wing.  They did just as the Owl suggested.  They travelled for days, following the sun until it led to the sea.


“Well, here we are.”, said the Giant. 

 “From the forest and the path

to the sea, we’ve arrived at last!

Long before the setting sun.

Plenty of time to find someone.”

 “Now that I’m here, it won’t be long until I find out who I am truly meant to be.”

 

They remained at the seashore for three days, building sandcastles and playing in the water.  William wrote poems and the Giant sang songs.  It was fun for a while but then the Giant became impatient. 

 

“When will I find out who I am?” 

 “It seems the Owl

although very wise

left you with questions

before they did fly.”

 

The Giant threw their hands in the air, plopped down in the sand and began to cry. 

“Now what do we do? “

 

After some time, a sea turtle appeared.  She was on her way back to her home under the waves after laying her eggs in a warm, sandy nest.  She paused, then turned to the Giant and spoke.

 

“Do you mind if I sit here and rest for a moment?”

 “I don't mind.”, the Giant replied. 

 

The sea turtle took some time to get comfortable, then let out a sigh. She turned to the Giant, who was sniffling and wiping their eyes.


“Do you mind if I ask you a question?”

 “No.”, the Giant replied.

 “Why are you crying?”

 

The Giant told her about the Owl and what was said.  About meeting William and their journey to the sea. 

 

“And here we are.”, the Giant said at last.

 “I see.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to offer my opinion.”

 “I’d be happy to hear it.”

 “Large becomes small when you see it from a distance.”

“What do you mean?” the Giant asked, hoping it wasn’t another riddle.

“You look like a Giant from where I am.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“That’s WONDERFUL!  Did you hear that, William?  The sea turtle thinks I look like a Giant!” The Giant jumped up and started to dance.  The sea turtle however, turned her head this way and that.

“Why does it matter so much, what I think of who you are?”

The Giant stopped dancing and pondered this for a moment.

“I don’t know.”

“If you don’t mind, I would just like to express that it shouldn’t matter to you what anyone thinks or says.  What matters is what YOU think and feel.”

“I feel confused.”

“If you don’t mind, can I ask you two more questions?”

 

The Giant nodded and sat down so they could pay attention, for they were certain this was going to be very, very important.

“Do you FEEL like a Giant?”

The Giant gave this some thought and finally said “Yes.  I do feel like a Giant.”

“Does that make you happy?”

“Yes.  That makes me very, very happy.”

“William, if you don’t mind.  Can I ask you?  Do they look like a Giant?”

William Roderick Crow turned and regarded the Giant.

“They don't look like me or you.

They look like themselves, they do.”

The sea turtle turned to the Giant with kindness in her eyes.

“If you don’t mind me saying so, you feel like a Giant and being a Giant makes you happy.  Seems to me that a Giant is not only who you ought to be, but who you truly are.”

She’s right!, the Giant thought.  What do I care what anyone else says or thinks?  I am a Giant.  I AM A GIANT!  I AM!

 

“Thank you!  Thank you so much!”

 

With that, the Giant made some seaweed tea to share with their new friends. The trio visited until the sun was done with the day and the moon came out to play and for a while thereafter. 

Breathe

As Witches, many of us were taught not to use our own breath to extinguish a flame. That somehow, the act of exhalation is unclean. That our breath is not sacred enough to touch our Work.

In doing so, we are reinforcing the false belief that we are inherently flawed and not worthy of the tools we have chosen to use to empower ourselves. This false belief will work against us in our quest for Sovereignty. Unless we embrace every inch of ourselves - the physical, emotional, intellectual, artistic, sexual, spiritual, and so on - we cannot hope to integrate all that we have learned and move on. Part of us will remain stuck.

I can’t help but wonder if this is a purposeful act, put in place by those who are deeply afraid of anyone who seeks to empower themselves. Upon reflection, I have noticed a great many “Thou shall not’s” present in neo-Pagan literature. This isn’t to say that there aren’t things you need to be mindful of for your own safety. But using one’s own breath to extinguish a candle is not one of them.

So go ahead. Blow out your damn candle!

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Crystal of the Week - Clear Quartz

I openly admit that when I started working with crystals, I didn't see the value in clear quartz. I thought it was boring. There are so many other gorgeous options out there, why would you pick clear quartz? Meh.

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A few years ago, something changed. I suddenly fell head over heals with this amazing crystal and couldn't get enough. Every time I visited my favorite shop, I HAD to bring some home.

Clear quartz is said to be the most powerful energy amplifier on the planet. It boosts the energy of the crystals around it, so it's the perfect way to amp up your intentions. It enhances psychic abilities and attunes you to your spiritual purpose. In short - clear quartz MAKES STUFF HAPPEN! POW!

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From raw chunks to polished points, carved animals to tumbled stones, spheres to skulls – clear quartz can be found in a wide variety of forms. There are no “rules” when it comes to choosing pieces. Whatever you are attracted to will work for you.

Use clear quartz to keep your space cleansed and free from negativity. Place it in a bowl or on a table with other crystals to increase their energy. Use in a grid to magnify and focus your intent. I have found it to be extremely versatile, very soothing, and wear it often for balance and protection. Take some time to explore clear quartz and see what messages it has for you.

This week's reading

This week's message comes to us via “The Fairy Ring” oracle by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason.

“Will O' The Wisp” reminds us not to allow ourselves to become so immersed in fantasy that our responsibilities are neglected. Promises to family and friends, obligations at work, even self-care can be left by the wayside if we are led astray. Sometimes something as simple as a coffee date with a friend can keep you on course.

Time to sweep those dust bunnies out from under the couch, respond to those emails, and remember the things you promised yourself would be done. If the deadline has passed, it's not too late. Set another and STICK WITH IT.

I offer private readings, from a three card past/present/future spread to something more in-depth. Contact me for details and see what messages are waiting for you.

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A reading to start the week

I have decided to start each week with a single card reading, posting it here for you. This week's card is “The Messenger” and comes from “The Heart of Faerie Oracle” by Brian and Wendy Froud.

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The message I am getting is “People do not value that which they get for free”. Ask yourself, is there something you are currently offering for free that you really ought to be charging for? Sometimes, our talent comes easily and thus we do not value it in the way we should. I was that way with my writing, offering to help people write this and that at no charge because I didn't feel right accepting payment. But I recently grew to value my talent and realized that there should be an equal energy exchange. Sometimes that involves money, other times it is another form of currency.

I did a “Wheel of the Year” reading in exchange for a beautiful handmade quilt. Both parties felt the exchange was equal and fair.

I did a bit of writing for a friend's business in exchange for a scone and a cup of tea while in Ireland.

With regard to the exchange of money for my services, I have yet to find anyone who takes issue with my fees and many who say I don't charge enough. So I am taking a look at that and making adjustments accordingly, including adding two packages to my freelance business that I will be launching soon.

This also applies to your career. The first step in asking for a raise or searching for a new job is to decide your salary. It's time to stop settling for “enough to get by” and start asking for a number that fairly represents what you bring to the table.

I offer private readings starting at $40. Options vary, from a three card “Past/Present/Future” reading to something more in-depth. You receive photos of the cards, as well as a detailed write-up. Please message me privately for details. Sidhe.Writes@gmail.com

Heapstown Cairn

Very much alive

untouched

laying in slumber

 

Energy builds

to be experienced

by those who

do not visit

with the intent to take

but rather

to share

in a moment

 

 

 

The Other Crowd are strong at Heapstown.  They're all around you, luring you into all the little nooks and crannies.  

Time seems to have no meaning.  What feels like just a few moments is actually 30 minutes.  What feels like 30 minutes is over an hour.  What seems like an hour is closer to three.  Everyone seems to have the same reaction.  They feel themselves fading into the Otherworld and go willingly.  There isn't any amount of time that is long enough and when we finally accept that it is indeed time to leave, we do so very slowly, pausing every few steps to take it all in.

I was pulled into a small grove, bathed in green.  I stood there, dumbstruck.  Uncertain what to say, I broke the rules.  

"Thank you."

I regretted it as soon as the words left my lips.  That is the number one thing you NEVER say to the Good Neighbors.  To thank them indicates an acknowledgement of debt and if there is one thing you do not want, it is to be indebted to them.

I searched in vain for something to say, some way to make it right.  I removed a piece of Labradorie from my pocket, placing it on a branch.  The intent was to photograph it in this beautiful setting.  The moss would be a gorgeous backdrop.

It remained there for only a second before tumbling to the ground.  this unintended gift, lost to me forever, but hopefully well-received.  

 

IN ORDER FOR AN OFFERING TO HAVE VALUE,

IT MUST BE A SACRIFICE.

 

What a difference some orange juice and a megalithic site can make

I climbed the stairs to the cairn at Knowth and took in the view.  There it is.  Ireland.  The wind was strong but soft and seemed to wash away whatever was keeping me stuck.  How could anyone stay in a funk when surrounded by all this beauty?

On to Newgrange.  They didn't allow any photos in the passageway itself.  I still was feeling jetlagged and rather out of sorts, so I don't know if my experience would have been different if I felt otherwise.  

We waited our turn outside, taking photos and chatting.  Once it was time, we fell into line and proceeded inside.  It wasn't nearly as large as I thought it would be.  I allowed everyone else to leave and in doing so, had the inner sanctum to myself for a few moments.  It was quite impressive.  I asked a few questions and marveled at the space.  Then, I made my way out through the passageway and back into the open air.

DNF, DNR, just.. no.

DNF.  This is a bookworm term that stands for "Did Not Finish".  It's a really difficult thing for a bibliophile to admit, even only to themselves, that a book just isn't going to be part of their life.  Most of us will struggle through, gritting our teeth, cursing under our breath, and hating every single moment.  We put the book down.  Slowly move it back to the bookshelf.  Succumb to the guilt.  Move it back to the bedside table.  

The guilt doesn't fade.  It builds to a crescendo until it becomes overwhelming.  So we decide to pull up our proverbial bootstraps and give it another go.  We are certain that the creaking spine can be heard the world over, as we open it up to where we left off.  Within minutes we remember why we put it down.  But because we won't admit failure, we soldier on.  

Before long, the book returns to the nightstand.  It sits there, staring at you from beneath a lovely stack of books that make us smile and remember why we love reading.  But if you sit very still and listen very closely you can hear it, accusing us of giving up.  Trying to make us feel like a failure.  So we move it back to the bookshelf.  Stop taking it's calls.  

The dance continues until we finally decide that the time has come to either

a)  just be a grown up and finish it already OR

b) admit defeat, don our trench coat, and drop it in the "donate" bin at the local charity shop, hoping no one sees us

 

This, my friends, is my proverbial White Elephant.  I bought "The Historian" almost a decade ago.  I took it with me to Ontario when I went to visit my grandmother and actually managed to read about 1/3 of it.  Then I came home and for some reason, promptly lost interest.  It could be that I didn't bring anything else to read on the trip and thus I was desperate.  Or perhaps it's because the book started off pretty well but fizzled out rather quickly.  I tried several times to pick it up again, but the interest didn't last very long.

After promising myself I was going to read more and watch less NetFlix, I decided that I would finish this 704 page behemoth once and for all.  So I opened it up again, went back a couple of chapters to refresh my memory and got to work.  Tedious, heart wrenching work.  I wanted to love this book.  I swear I did.  But - UGH.  I just can't.  

A book should be enjoyable.  Sure, not all of them are going to be "OMG, I can't believe it's over.  That was AMAZING!  I have to tell EVERYONE!!!  What am I going to do now?  Did this author write anything else?"  But it certainly shouldn't be 'absolute tear-inducing, toss yourself on the ground and pitch a fit worthy of an Oscar' torture.  You are an adult.  You don't have to read anything you don't want to.  That's right.  I said it.

So, I have decided that this book is officially a DNF and very soon it shall be released out into the wild, hopefully to find it's way to someone who will appreciate it.  I have to admit I am relieved.