Days passed, and Lynn seemed to be hopelessly lost. She’d turned back in the direction she thought she came from, because her fear and doubt urged her to return to everything in her past that was certain – the flowers, the dances, the eternal Spring... but the woods were so twisted and perplexing that she feared she was going in circles and she would die here in a weary and helpless place, far from the glory and beauty of the Faerie Realm. She danced and sang no more. Though her shoes continued to provide strength for her feet to carry on, the burden of her lifeless wings hung heavily on her shoulders and the weight of her sadness bent her head low, so her heart now struggled to keep moving one step in front of the other.
The longer she traveled, the heavier the burden of doubt and despair became. She dreaded that she would wander the world forever, never seeing the King, never knowing his good purpose for her, never being anything but a lonely, broken and useless fairy. More than once she collapsed and cried and slept, longing for home and for a King who would truly love her. She dreamed about him, speaking words of blessing and honor to her heart, wrapping his giant arms warmly around her, wiping away her tears… and she would awake with such a desire to be in his presence that she could scarcely breathe. Still, a thread of hope remained, and without her even realizing it, the Great King was calling her unto himself. The wooded path that the fairy thought she aimlessly traveled, randomly chose, and often doubted was all the time carefully and purposefully ordained for her by the One who knew the best way.
Several weeks after wandering through the thick trees, she came upon a clearing, which opened to display a wondrous sight. Before her lay a great kingdom of winding and narrow streets and small buildings tightly packed together, and in the distance on a hill was a majestic castle of stone, with purple banners unfurled and waving in the wind, and she could only guess that it was the home of a mighty ruler…. Or the mighty ruler, she thought with both joy and fear.
Where to go from here? Lynn could see the road ahead but did not know what she would find there. She knew what lay behind, but as hard as she tried she could not return, and looking back she wondered if she really wanted to after all. Hesitating on the top of the hill, she shifted from one weary foot to the other and considered her choice.
Finally she shook her head, “There is too much at stake,” she told herself. “What if the King is not as good as I thought? What if he cannot help me – or won’t help me? What if I am meant to live in this weakness and loneliness forever? I couldn’t bear his rejection. It’s better if I leave now, give up the dream, and spare myself that pain.” With that, she faced again the dark forest.
But while everything in her body and mind told her to leave her dreams there and go home, her heart screamed louder than the logic of despair, the lavender slippers turned her around, and against every reason she had invented for herself, she stepped toward the castle of the Great King.