Merry Meet Gwendolyn!

Gwendolyn Silver Moonbeam.
What a big name for such a little girl.
Her family and friends simply call her Gwen!

Gwen lives in a tidy little cabin just on the outskirts
of the village of Willow Grove,with her mommy and daddy
and their big cat Shadow.
She still remembers the day her daddy put the finishing touches
on their new home. Happily he called to her and her
mother, "Hurry, come and see, I have finished the house!"

Gwen and her mommy ran to the brand new front door
and went in. Oh my, what a wonderful new house her
daddy had made for them.
He and his friends had worked
very hard to make it a warm and happy place for his family.

When they'd finished exploring their new house,
Gwen's mom went to her cabinet and
brought down a neatly wrapped parcel

Gwen followed along as her mommy went from room
to room with her old clay pot of smoldering sage.
She went to every corner of every newly finished
room and fanned the sweet smelling smoke with something
that she called a smudge fan. But to Gwen it looked like
a big bunch of feathers tied together with a braided
red cord. "We are cleansing and blessing our
new home Gwen. When you are older, you will understand."

When they got to Gwen's room she was so excited to
finally be able to have her own bedroom she didn't really
care about understanding. She stood in the center of
the room and was filled with happiness. Her room was
beautiful! Daddy had painted the walls of her
new room purple. It was just perfect for her taste.
Mommy had spent a long time sewing a beautiful
white coverlet and matching pillows for her soft and cozy bed.
Right in the middle of her brand new bed, Shadow
the cat, snuggled into a big ol' furry heap.

Gwen jumped up on her bed and stretched out next
to Shadow. She lay back on her pillows and looked above her
bed. Her mommy had hung up the dream catcher that
they had been working on all spring. It was big
and round and had crystals and purple beads and long
white feathers hanging down from it. When she had asked,
"What is a dream catcher for?"mommy said,
"It will catch all the bad dreams that might come in the night.
When you are older, you will understand."

As she looked around her room, she thought, it seemed
that she had heard those words more and more lately. Why
was everything going to happen when she was older?
How much older? She was already six, almost seven,
and that was old enough to understand,
or at least Gwen thought so.

Gwen understood that her family was just a little bit
different than some of the others in Willow Grove.
Most of her friends went to school in the village.
Not Gwen. She did all of her schoolwork at home.
Her mom and aunt Star were her teachers.
Some of her friends went to the big old white church
building on the corner of Main Street every Sunday morning.
Not Gwen.
Her family said prayers and lit candles almost every
morning. Her house always smelled of incense and mommy's
oils and herbs. And they always remembered to
thank the goddess before they began to eat their meals.

On special days, they would have lots of company.
All of her aunts and uncles and family friends would come to
their house. They would talk and sing and tap on
drums and dance in a big circle that was drawn on the
ground. They must have been having a great time! Gwen
didn�t know why she couldn't go into the yard with them.
She liked to sing and dance too. But she always
had to go to bed instead. And the grownups always told her,
"When your older Gwen"

They did other things differently too.
They did not go to the Mr. Sam's store
to buy their corn and cabbage and other vegetables.
Her and mommy planted seeds and
watered and tended the garden that daddy had made for them.
They pulled up weeds and made room for all of the good
things that Mother Nature provided for them.

They had even sat on the ground one lazy afternoon and
stuffed an old pair of daddy's coveralls with straw to make
a scarecrow for their garden. It was supposed to keep
the pesky birds away. When they were all finished it
looked funny, not scary! The crows landed on each arm
and watched them as they worked!

Gwen and her daddy went out into the yard very early
every morning to feed the goat and chickens that
gave them fresh milk and eggs. They picked
ripe vegetables and sweet plump apples from their
trees and put them in a big basket for mommy
to make into a yummy pie for dinner. Gwen's daddy
loved his gardens. He liked to dig in the dirt and
give it water. He smiled every time a new plant would
poke through the earth. He always said, "We must always
care for the earth Gwen, as it takes care of us.
But when you are older, you will understand."

Gwen loved her new home! She loved the open fields of
flowers and all of the animals that lived there with them.
She had the best Mommy and Daddy in the world and
she loved them best of all. At night when she went
to bed, Gwen would say her prayer and thank the Goddess
for all that she had been blessed with. Then she'd
crawl up into her cozy warm bed, in her new purple room.
She'd look up at her dream catcher and wonder.
What else was there for her to understand? And why
did she have to wait until she was older?

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