There are some souls in the Realm who are … far closer to reality than the stories themselves reveal. The colour of their hair, the slightly gruff nature, the walking stick that has been with a person as long as I can remember. Most of all, the phone call from a cherished uncle to his niece to talk about that night’s hockey game and how it went into …
She’d always been fascinated by how white my hair was, not realizing how many years there were between us. But then she didn’t really take age as the measure of a soul. Rather, she accepted all those she met for who they were, and then she’d wonder about the question that never left her.
I recall the first words she said to me. At the time, those present thought it to be something childish, a silly request that needed but a pat on her head and then sending her off to play some child’s game.
“Can I help?”
Her mother had been as pointed with her thoughts, as I recall. There was no hint of wondering if the question was odd or out of place. It needed to be asked, so why not ask it?
Those so-green eyes had some innocence in them, but they couldn’t hide the intelligence lurking, waiting to find the words to speak and make her thoughts clear to everyone around her. Those three words would become who she was; the decisions she made harkened back to that single purpose she had from the beginning.
She asked if she could help, and so she did.
Oh, she didn’t care at all about being what our society expected her to be. Truth be told, I didn’t expect her to simply accept her role and do what others wanted her to do. The first time we shared some ice cream in the park, her thoughts were about why things were. When I tried to explain in a way that a child could understand, she tilted her head and sighed in way that had no reflection of her age, but rather the maturity of her soul. I never spoke to her again in that way, having learned that she might be a young tail, but she was in no way a child, even at that age.
Time passed and she found herself challenged as a young Queen—I am very well aware that she dislikes that word, but I am her uncle, and so she allows my thoughts and words without comment, only the occasional arched eyebrow, at which I cannot help but chuckle. She had no Eternal, no Heart, no parents to turn to and ask. I remained nearby … and she came and found me, though I simply had to tell her to trust her instincts, which were spot on.
She always knew where to find me. Many times, I’d be working away, trimming a hedge, and she’d appear. She never interrupted, waiting for me to turn to her, smile, and ask: “Can I help?” Those three words became our connection. They expressed her need and my willingness to give her the wisdom I could. We spoke of the issues, what her options might be and where she might take things. But it was her choice, and whatever she decided that was how things where to be.
The accident almost took me away from her. It was a close thing, closer than I think she really knows. At least I hope so, sometimes she’s more concerned about how others feel about things than what she keeps bottled up inside. It was a long road to come back, the cane forever at my side. She always worries about me, and is always willing to shorten the distance. Those words came back, more meaningful than they were in the past: “Can I help?”
She found her Eternal in time, her Heart appeared and brought wisdom and understanding. Two souls who know her own better than most, and for that, for them being there for her, I am grateful. Few can really understand the soul of the Queen of the Realm.
For me, it’s somewhat different, she is my niece after all. The laughter when I rant over the hockey game tells of how she adores the time we have together. The thoughtfulness of her own wisdom, that she will never give herself credit for, brings me hope for the future.
The journey isn’t over, much like the hockey game, there is still more of the game to be played … and then overtime.