Inner Elf – the living fairy tail of Lapland
Once upon a time there was an elf in a yellow dress. She was different from the very beginning. While all the other elves dressed in red were busy doing the things that they needed to do, she would be making her way through the forest, down to the longest river in Lapland. She would take out her birch park cup, and dip it into the wild and powerful waters to catch it – it would fall still – and she would carry it carefully through the hidden forest paths, deep in to the trees, until she came to the ancient stones, the Seita stones. And she would put down the Lippo-cup, and light the fire, and take from her pocket some of the magic fire powder, and throw it into the flames, where it would roar high. And then she would take the still water in the Lippo-cup, and pour it over the ancient rock. And the most amazing thing would happen: the rock would open and begin to tell her all of the ancient wisdom.
And it was from the Seita-stone, that she learned so much. It told her of the fauna and the flora, like the Pakuri that grows on trees that tea can be made from, to give a healthy and a long life. It told, how hugging trees let that ancient power flow through You, giving such energy. It told her of Maahinen, underground creatures, who loved You to be joyful in the forest , but if you behave badly, would be disturbed with their sensitive ears and come to the surface and not be pleased at all. It told of animals, like Poro – the reindeer – how they provided food for the people and how they in return were treated with respect. It told of the endless dark winters and the totally white nights. Of Revontulet – The northern lights – the shimmering curtains of light that moved in the heavens, it told of Kaamos – The Polar night – the long, grey, interminable days… And when the stone closed, she would walk back to the river, see it flowing powerfully onwards, and then go to see her favorite person. Place where she spent so much time, her grandmother, Ämmi.
Her Ämmi was the most wonderful elf! She wore orange and was 308 years old. Ämmi had a large stick, amount in it were many jewels and on the very top of it was a crystal, that she called her third eye. And she told to the elf in a yellow dress everybody has a third eye if only they can learn how to use it. And the elf in the yellow dress came to understand it was about seeing things that couldn´t be seen and hearing things that couldn´t be heard. Like invisible messenger that would arrive before guests suddenly appeared. How it would tell that coffee must be prepared and food laid on the table. And how guests from far away places had very different vibrations so the people of Lapland. And she told about the energy of earth and air, water and fire, and how in other lands the energy of money moved around restlessly, always searching… And her Ämmi gave her spells to help her sleep at nights, gave her spells to keep her healthy, gave her spells to protect her at all times. She always felt safe sleeping on the lovely wide couch in the Ämmi´s living room. And when her Ämmi was very busy knitting her huge pile of woolen socks that always seems to be growing in the corner of the living room, she would make her way to see her uncle, Sailor-Smith Elf.
He was the tallest of the elves, but such a gentle person! And in his room was the old suitcase he had traveled the world with , with labels from the all the great cities. And he would tell her about the seven continents and the amazing people and things You would find there. And he told her of the animals of Lapland, and how he would always return from his travels, because he would miss Poro, the reindeer, Jänis the white rabbit, Susi the wolf, Kettu the fox, Ilves the big cat, and Karhu, the bear. Gentle, huge creatures that nobody could ever make mad, whose eyes always glowed in the cold of the Lapland air. And it was he, her uncle, the Sailor-Smith Elf, that made her the bear-chair in the forest, where she would go and sit and dream of what she might become.
And it was on her 50th birthday, as she sat in the bear-chair and she thought about her life. Thought, what has been and what might become. She decided that it was time that she perhaps should leave this land and go and search of other children. She´d often wondered if she would fit in, if they play the same games, if the adults behave the same ways, if they have the same animals… And right there and then she made her mind up and she ran as quickly as she could through the forest, went to her uncle and asked could she borrow his case and he said “Of course – come back and tell me what You find!” And she went to Ämmi and Ämmi said “This is wonderful news! I will immediately start to make You some reindeer meet- sandwiches , and in Your case I
suggest You put a bottle of fresh air of the forest so You can smell it when You are away from home. And also, You will propably want to put fire powder in there, and Pakuri-tee and Your Lippo-cup, and some dried blueberries. And don´t forget a notebook and pencil, so You can write down all that You´ve learned and tell us on Your return. And remember, granddaughter!” , she said, “Not everything is always light, there are shadows”. “What do You mean?”, said the elf in a yellow dress, “The sun does not shine all the time”, Ämmi said, “Beware of Avariti, the dark spirit that watches us from the other side of the river. He would not like You to have so much happiness. My third eye sais, perhaps he will be following You. Take care and beware of Avariti!” And the Elf in a yellow dress promised that she would and turned to walk away. Ämmi turned to continue knitting her woolen socks, to watch over the big pile that was growing on the corner.
And so the Elf in a yellow dress walked down the road, jumped on the back of Jannis, the big white rabbit, and was soon hopping down the winding paths of the forest of Lapland, and then along the broad straight roads of Finland down to the Port of Turku. And as they were hopping along with the speed of the wind, she did not see the crow of Avariti high above following them all the way. And when she jumped on board the ship, and hid in the darkest corner below the decks in the box, she did not know the crow of Avariti landed on the mast of the ship and sailed with her across until they reached the port of London.
When she awoke, and put up the lid of the box she and jumped outside, she saw the streets of London busy with people walking here and there doing their busy things. And she was looking for a house, the palace, on the side of her uncle´s suitcase, and she found it! It was huge with guards outside. Buckingham palace, it said. And she thought she would go back the and slip in quietly, but there was a high wall and no way through. Then she remembered, that the Potato Elf had given her some of his magic potatoes, and she had put them in suitcase. She opened it, took them out, put them on the ground, and quickly they´d done a tunnel her to grovel through. And inside she saw a huge lawn, and a very middle of it, on a pink blanket, sat a princess. She looked like a princess. The Elf in a Yellow dress walked the grass and when she looked up, “Who are you?” she said, and the Elf answered “I am from Lapland, who are You?” “I am a princess”, she said “and I´m going to be a queen. What are You going to be?“ “Well I´m an Elf”, said the Elf in a Yellow dress, “ I am wearing yellow but hopefully I am going to wear orange”. And so they felt to talking, and the princess told her all about the lands of England and Scotland and Wales and Ireland and the Elf in the Yellow dress told her all about Lapland. Princess had the cutest little china tee cups, and so the Elf in a Yellow dress made Pakuri tee for the princess who was going to be queen. And the princess said “I´d love to come and visit Your magic land”, and the Elf said “Of course, You are welcome and bring all Your friends too!” Then the Elf waved goodbye with the present, the china cup, in her suitcase. She scrambled through the wall and headed to China.
When se arrived, it was a very different city, Bejing, steel and glass towers reaching the sky, their tops covered with clouds. She saw a sign that said “Elevator to Roof Garden”, she pushed a button, and soon was climbing high in the sky glass elevator, stopped in the 54th floor. The door opened. She walked out and there was a small boy by a small pond with tulip growing. it was a youg Chinese boy, looking something in his hand. She went across with the suitcase and asked “What´s that?”, he said “It´s an I Pad, of course!” And he told her what it was, and he told her that You could find things out it and write things down on it. The she showed him her notebook and pencil, and they exchanged them just as they exchanged stories of their lands, and their families, and the places that they have grown up in. And in the end he said “I´d love to visit Your magical land, the white nights and endless winters”. And she said “You´re welcome, come as soon as You can, and bring all your friends, too!”. Then she waved goodbye and went down with glass elevator and headed off to her next adventure.
And so it was. The Elf in a Yellow dress visited all the seven continents and finally found herself in Japan at the time of the year where the cherry blossom was glowing pink, the Sakurai. And there under a tree, she saw someone. An Elf! And suddenly, a huge homesickness went across her, and she remembered everything and everyone. And she ran across as quickly as she could, and shooked him to wake him up, and she said “You´re an Elf!”, “I´m a traveler”, he said. “Yes but You look like an elf!” Elf in a Yellow dress insisted. “Well I may have been once”, said the boy and the Elf said “Come back with me to my homeland, I think I am going back”, and he asked where it was and she told the traveler all about it, and he asked all about her travels. And as she was speaking to him, excitement and awareness grew, and she realized, that while she´d been away, she have found something very special deep inside of her. Something…opened. She had found her inner Elf.
“Maybe”, she said excited to her new friend, the Japanese traveler who thought he might be an elf, “maybe, when all the children and their parents come to my homeland, they too could find their inner elves”. So the two of them sailed across the see of Japan, to Port of Vladivostok, in Russia. They travelled across the Siberian icy and deserted ways until they came to forests of Finland. They travelled up along the long, straight roads till they came to the winding lanes of Lapland. And there they were standing at the ancients of the homeland.
And all the elves of the homeland came out to meet the Elf in a Yellow dress and her new friend Akira, the traveler from Japan, who thought he might have been an elf. And they asked where had she been? And what has she sheen? And who was her friend? And she told them all about her travels, all of the things she had seen and all the conversations she had had. And how when she was talking to her new friend there was something inside her that had opened and she realized she had found something very precious. And that it brought her back to share everybody the idea that if everybody came from all over the world to visit them, all of their families would grow so much bigger and they too might find their inner Elves. At first, the other elves were not so sure…but Ämmi-Elf and uncle Sailor-Smith Elf and Potato-Elf and then many others said: “We should welcome them. Let´s welcome them with open arms!”. And so they set about cleaning and prepairing and making ready for their first guests. And on the night before they were due to arrive, everybody was feeling so happy and things were looking so beautiful. They went to sleep. Then – in the morning they found the one thing they were not expecting. They´ve forgotten all about Avariti.
And the Elf in the Yellow dress had forgotten Ämmi´s warning. Avariti had followed her through all seven continents, and he had watched and listened when she talked with the Japanese traveler who thought he might have been an elf. And Avariti was not going to allow such happiness to Elf´s homeland. And in the night he cast a spell that stopped anybody going in and anybody going out. Worst of all, he had cast a spell on Ämmi´s third eye, so it had fainted and gone completely dim. They immediately called a meeting in the elve´s secret hiding place. People spoke, everybody had no idea what they could do until the Potato-Elf had an brilliant thought and said to Elf in a yellow dress: “What if I send my finest potatoes to dig a huge tunnel just as You dug a small tunnel into the ground of Buckingham Palace and then all our guests could come through”, and he continued: “Maybe Avariti´s spell only operates above the ground, not in the world below!” And he set the potatoes to work and assured they had dug a magnificent tunnel – and they could go out and they could go in, and when the visitors arrived they welcomed them to walk through the tunnel into the elves´s homeland – to Elve´s Hideaway. And everybody was so pleased about it.
“The only thing”, said the Elf in a Yellow dress, “is that Ämmi´s third eye was still dim.” She asked the quests if they could find a way to make it glow again. “But how?”, they said. “Perhaps”, she said, “if you visit all of us, and You step in to our power forest you will see things and most of all feel things that will help it start to glow again – just as the inner Elf in me began to glow”. And so they visited all of the many elves and they found such things and saw such things! Finally they went back to see Ämmi with the magic staff with a third eye. The visitors placed small amulets – which were filled with their happy vibrations – at it´s foot… and it started , once again, to glow.
“Thank you”, Ämmi said. And the Elf in a Yellow dress said: “ You are always welcome back , to our land, anytime, in any of our eight seasons. And when You take Your way home, watch for the crow of Avariti, for he will always be surprising You. But most of all, take care of Your inner Elf. It will give light into Your heart and always protect You from the shadows”.
She waved goodbye and the visitors left. And deep inside some of them the inner Elf was stirring..
©Hullu Poro Oy Ltd