Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Castles in the Air

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a fairy tale couple shared a first kiss, a kiss filled with promise and magic and light. In an instant, it somehow set everything right in the young lover's worlds. The din and chatter of the outside was instantly quelled and they saw only the other. They lived for the times they could be alone and walk hand in hand through the bailey and surrounding courtyard. In a world that had often been cruel and heartless, filled with dragons and dark knights, they felt adrift and tired. But at this moment they were rejuvenated and alive. It was as if every battle scar from their past was necessary to lead them to this perfect place at this moment.

In the turning of a few short pages, they wed and brought a child into the world together. Almost unnoticed, however, the brightly colored pastels of their fairy tale lives slowly morphed into the much harsher and darker palette of reality. Eventually the push and pull and pressure of the real world broke through and brought a sobering and somber quality into the chapters of their days. Gone were the extravagant balls and petal-strewn walkways of the promenade. Gone was the royal couple fit for a children's bedtime story. Now quests and fights to establish their treasury and to fortify their borders commanded their attention and became their priority. It seemed the biggest clashes of their lives occurred when they struggled and positioned and postured to rule as one when they had spent a lifetime out on their own kingdom conquests. Eventually small cracks in the castle ramparts developed into a full-scale breach that gave access to marauders from the outside. In no time, the light was extinguished, and the queen had abdicated her throne.

What started as a fairy tale crumbled into the fodder of a newsstand rag. It was only understood after it was too late that priorities and boundaries need to be established at the outset. The walls of the castle need to be protected at all cost, lest the kingdom and those within are lost. A cautionary tale to be sure, but one from which you would be wise to understand the lesson.