Gwen's MidSummer Surprise

Gwen sat in the rope swing that hung from the large
willow tree in the center of her front yard. While
she was swinging she couldn’t help but notice that the
mild days of spring seemed to be getting warmer, and the
sun stayed high in the sky much longer too.She also
couldn’t help but notice the flurry of activity about
the house and gardens in the last couple of days.
Mommy and Daddies friends would hurry in and out and
bring and take bundles and parcels of all
sorts and sizes.

She had seen days like this before, and she knew most
of the people that were bustling around. Daddy and his
friends were busy gathering sticks and branches
and piling them in the back yard. Mommies’ friends were
baking crescent cookies and making a yummy fresh fruit
punch. They were having a great time, baking and
laughing and whispering like they had the
grandest secret of all.

When she couldn’t take the aromas wafting up her
nose one more second, Gwen got down from her swing and
started to follow the wonderful scent of freshly baked
cookies into the kitchen. Just as she stepped into the
room everyone stopped. They stopped laughing and they
stopped whispering too. That’s funny. They had never
done that before. Her presence was always a welcomed
addition to their activities. Or at least she
had always thought so.

Gwen’s aunt Star came and took her by the hand and
said “would you like to help me gather some flowers
from the garden Gwen?” Of course she knew that was one
thing Gwen could never pass up. They took the basket
down from the shelf and Aunt Star took her funny curved
knife from her belt and off they went.

Aunt Star chatted with Gwen about the changing weather
as they walked through the vegetable garden. The spring
rain had been plentiful and Mother Earth had provided
an abundance of wonderful things for their family and
friends. The flower beds were full of brilliant colors
and smells that would charm even the
grumpiest of honey bee.

Star had always been Gwendolyn’s favorite auntie. She
always had time to romp in the fields with Gwen.
She’d fling off her sandals and run barefoot through
the high grasses and wildflowers. They would sit
together on the porch for hours and gaze at the night
sky. The best thing was Star told such great stories.
She told fairytales about dragons and wizards. She told
stories of unicorns and maidens. But Gwen’s’ favorite
stories were about magick and witches. Oh, how she loved
the stories about witches!

Gwen knew, even at the age of six, that witches are
not mean or evil. She knew that they could not or most
certainly would not do the things that the storybooks
and movies said they would do. She knew that witches
were healers and teachers and most of all they were
kind and loving and wise. Gwen knew that when she was old
enough……..well, when she was old enough!

They had been in the gardens for sometime and the
sun was just now beginning to leave the sky. They had spent
several hours chattering about this and that and gathering
flowers until the basket overflowed. They
sang songs to the goddess to thank her for all that
she had provided. Star sprinkled a handful of seeds to
replenish the grounds as they started their short walk
back to the house.

As they got closer and closer to the house, Gwen saw
candles glowing from the windows. She could smell the
sweet smell of incense burning and drifting on the
evening breeze. She could hear all of mommies and daddies
friends in the house. They sounded excited about
something, but what could have happened
while they were gone?

Just as soon as Star and Gwen walked into the house,
Gwen spotted a big box on the table. It was wrapped
in purple paper and tied with silver ribbons. It was the
most beautiful thing Gwen had ever seen. Was it a
birthday party? Was that why everyone had been so busy
the last few days? Who’s party was it?

Before she could ask, Gwen’s Mommy and her aunt Star
each took her by a hand. They led her to the table
and told her that the gift was for her. “For Me?
But it’s not my birthday.” “No Gwen, it is not your birthday.
It is a very special day of a different sort.”
Gwen couldn’t hold back her excitement any longer.
She looked around the room and everyone was smiling
and telling her to hurry and open the gift.
She untied the shiny silver ribbons and tore away the
pretty purple paper. She lifted the lid to the box
and gasped! What she saw could mean
only one thing.

Gwen lifted the most spectacular gift of her life
from the box. She held up a brand new cloak. It was a
cloak like none she had ever seen. Not like her mommies, not
like aunt Stars, not like daddies, not like any she had
seen before. It was the most beautiful cloak in the
world…and it was for her. Gwen didn’t know what to say,
she didn’t know what to do. Before she could say or do
anything her mommy said, “and tonight Gwen, you may come with us
to the mid summer celebration!” As her mommy
placed her beautiful new cloak around her shoulders,
Gwen silently thanked the Goddess once more
for her blessings and whispered,
“when I’m old enough…….!”

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