Tag Archives: Alnwick Castle

13. Courage

My heart beating like a drum, I approach the castle, the entry looks dark and ominous.  I gather my courage and I really am needing that right now. I’m scared out of my wits. I must be crazy to be doing this, I have never been inside a castle before or been so bold as to even think that I belong here.  What am I doing here?  But I feel as if  I don’t proceed I will be missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.  There is something inside that calls me, I hear it whispering my name.

“Welcome, I’ve been waiting so long for you, come.” I pass through the portal to a grand hall, but it is empty.  I look around, no one is there. Banners on the walls are emblems of dragons– crimson dragons, black dragons, sapphire colored dragons and on the far wall is a banner lying on a table yet to be hung. I approach to take a look, but Oberon catches my attention as he starts to wander down a hallway.  “Come”, I hear the whisper and I follow.

The hallways are a maze, how will I ever find my way out?  Suddenly I hear a rustle behind me, expecting the owner of the castle to come to me and ask me what I’m doing there, I prepare a speech.  However, when I turn around I see two large yellow eyes approaching and the dragon’s talons clicking on the stone floor of the castle as she comes after me.  I start running with Obie fast on my heels.  I run down every corridor, take every turn, yet she follows and quickly she is catching up with me. I am frantic with worry, sweat beads up on my brow, I feel like I’m going to faint.

Then clearly and loudly the bell on Oberon’s collar rings. I know what I must do.

The enormous crimson dragon is right behind me.  I stop running, turn around and face her. “What do you want! I am not running from you anymore!”  I feel myself vibrating, I think in nervousness, but suddenly I see my hands begin to shift into slender silver fingers, with sharp metallic like talons at the end.  My skin tingles further like a chill running down my spine as I grow larger and larger.  The dark hallway is no longer dim, it becomes bright as day. I see so much more clearly now.

“Finally”, says the crimson dragon, “You have become who you are supposed to be, the Platinum Dragon.  We have waited for you.  We have tried so many times to get you here. Look in the mirror.”  Before me was a mirror on the wall and there I stood, not the weak human girl I was before, insecure, scared and frightful, but a real live Platinum Dragon scales glistening as if they were wet, scales that could withstand any forces that were put against me. Wings that could fly, that could take me anywhere my imagination would allow. Green eyes that could see the world in a whole new and beautiful light.  And beneath all that, I could feel the beating of a stronger heart that was open to everything that the Universe had to offer.

That unhung flag was for me and for you, you see. For we all are dragons underneath.  We just have to accept it. We have to face our fears.

 

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12. Goal in Sight

Incredible! this is what is drawing me irresistibly nearer, a castle high on a hill.  It’s beautiful and the sky seems to know that this is my destination, it is alive in color, the hues of pinks, blues and yellows are amazing. The castle is evidently my destiny but what awaits me there? It’s huge and the hill is almost overwhelming.  Can I find my way all the way up?

gardnerscottage-Edinburgh1500I look at the Magic book, it confirms my suspicions, the final star on the map is within the castle. Oberon and I look at each other and then at the castle.”Well, I’m not getting any closer by just staring at it, am I?  Let’s go”  Here at the base of the castle is a beautiful garden, I’ve rested for awhile at a fountain studying which way is the best way to approach this hill. There’s no way, I can climb it, so I will go around.  I’m sure I’ll discover many wondrous sights along the way.  The garden is rich in color, there’s even a clock made of flowers in the corner, someone is lovingly grooming and planting this garden. I come to a small cottage, it must be the gardener’s because it is as beautiful as the garden. The gardener comes out to greet me, “We’ve been expecting you, you only need to take the road to the left then go right, the next right is the road to the castle.” I look confused, I didn’t even ask, how did he know what I needed?  How did he know who I was?

It wasn’t that warm of a day with the clouds overhead, but the trek up the streets and around that hill manage to get me warm.  I was thankful when it starting misting rain, I just hoped I didn’t get caught in a downpour. I wasn’t anxious to be soaking wet when I arrived at the castle.  I didn’t know who I was to meet there.  Surely a king or queen, I had to be at least a little presentable.

Along the way, there were many small shops that caught my eye, and the aromas of the small cafes were enticing. My stomach started growling, I was hungry, but curiosity beat the hunger and I continued on. I crossed a bridge when I took that right turn the gardener talked about and saw the castle looming larger. My heart beat faster as my pace sped up.

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Feature Photo: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photography by Candace Stauber
Story Photos: Gardeners Cottage, Edinburgh Gardens, Prince Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Alnwick Castle, UK. Photography by Candace Stauber