At one time or another, we have all wished and sometimes those wishes have turned into dreams and there we have found ourselves lost in their midst for a day or three. Allowing oneself these wish-dreams can be a most exhilarating experience, but, perhaps somewhat reluctantly, we make our way back to our cups of tea or windy hilltops. Then, one fine and promising day, we endeavor to find the courage to take a first wobbly step onto a rickety-rackety path, not having the foggiest as to where it may lead.
There are others, who find the cutting of paths through thickets and the stumbling over boulders rather wearisome and so prefer to wish-dream over and over, from sunrise to sunset, barely walking on this Earth at all. One of these such wish-dreamers was known as Soetkin and so adept was she in taking flights of fancy, that the world around her faded and swirled around her ankles like a mist. There were times, of course, that it became as a curling cat tail, but, no more than that. Lunch would be forgotten and dinner and supper too. Which, was just as well or else unwashed pots and pans would have reached the roof! Spoils of her absent-minded visits to the grocer's shop laid silvered chocolate wrappers at her feet that peeked through the mists like bright, twinkling stars on a cloudy night.
Soetkin's constant companions were a shiny, silver needle and an old, metal biscuit tin full of reels of cotton, both bright and dark and everything in between. You see, when one dreams as frequently and fervently as this little one, one is hard pressed to remember them all. Sometimes, it's neither here nor there as to whether you can recall a wish, the mundane ones that is. The wish that the chocolate cake hadn't finished quite so quickly, or that a toe hadn't been stubbed quite so hard. But, there were those more precious than gold dust that needed to be kept and reopened at times when the dreaming was at its thinnest. And here, amongst the gold dust, the threads and that sharp, shiny needle danced and wove remembrance into the old cloth that Soetkin wore around her shoulders. The tattered cloth that kept her warm when she forgot to stoke the fire, each tiny stitch a memory of a wish-dream fit to remember.
Many years had passed since the dreaming began, though Soetkin could not quite recall how many. In fact, these days she could barely recall anything at all. She did recollect hair that was once as soft as spun silk and as gold as the falling sun, but the growing winter had covered the gold in frost and left twigs in place of the silk. No matter, for Soetkin's dreams were as bright as ever, even if she had to stitch more often. In time, as her fingers grew to aching and the needle danced more hesitantly, Soetkin wondered how many more wish-dreams she would have left.
One soft autumn afternoon, as the light faded from the sky and woodsmoke curled out from the chimney, Soetkin dreamt once more of walks as yet untaken, of forests rich and dark. Through the verdant gloom of fern and mossy branches, a shadow as silent as the darkest of nights emerged and at first Soetkin was mystified. " Was it really that time already?" She pondered.
Softly and quietly The Governessa slipped her cold, bony fingers into Soetkin's papery hand and led her down to the roots of the Old Willow Tree.