Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
Down to Tower'd Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "Tis the Fairy
The Lady of Shalott."
And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The Knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.
The gown has been tucked away in my Great Grandmother's trunk for over two years now... waiting for me to take it out and finish. When I first cut it out and started work on it, we were planning to hold some sort of big medieval party eminently... complete with an archery tournament, feasting, costumes and jollity. But for one reason or another it never happened... life got in the way, plans were postponed, and at last the dress and all reason to wear it were tucked away and laid aside.
I opened up the trunk last month and pulled out the roll of blue crepe chiffon and embroidered gold tapestry, determined to make it wearable at last.
Because the time had come to wear the dress. It was an Epoch, a rite of passage.
Even years before we were planning our fabulous medieval party, I promised myself I wouldn't cut my hair until I wore that dress to the celebration, no matter how long it took to plan.
The years flew by, and, always having worn my hair plain and long, it soon became the mane of fairytale dreams that I love so well. A girl's hair is an enormous part of who she is. A big part of her identity can be wrapped up in that glorious covering she wears, no matter how she wears it.
But it can also be, strangely, a burden. I've felt so attached to my hair at times that it was almost like an obsession... I could't imagine myself without it. I didn't know who I was without it.
And I'm being melodramatic again. But there's a place for that - at least in my world. A life spiced with passion and a little pathos is so much more interesting!
I prayed about it for many, many, months. I went deep down and examined my heart, and what God showed me there gave me the resolve to do what I didn't think I could do - but felt I must.
But before, there was something I had to finish.
I had to have a photoshoot with my medieval gown.
After all those years, I wasn't going to have any regrets... so I took that bundle of blue and gold and whipped them into the shape of a girlish dream.
The gold embroidered accents, the accessories, even the :ahem: back closure didn't quite make it to completion, but it was good enough. We'll not go into technical details on this one, because frankly, it wouldn't sand the test;)
But it felt so right to slip, first, into the gold underdress, then into the draping overdress of fluid sleeves and sweeping train. To toss my hair and feel like a little girl. A little girl and a princess and a heroine.
It was with an air of finality that I took it off afterward and laid it back in GG's trunk. The time had come to move on, making room in my heart to embrace how large and grand God's plans for us really are. Feeling safe and comfortable, familiar with the rhythm of life around you can be a good thing, but once you discover how awesome it is to see dreams that are so big they terrify you become not possibilities, but realities, the comfort of the one pales next to the bravery and sheer joy of the other.
God is doing amazing things in my life - but what I learned this week was to start seeking after His best, not His safest. You'd be surprised at how big the Creator of the universe can dream for us. We just have to ask for the strength - to be brave.
And after all that, you've doubtless guessed my pertinent news. I'll spare you the slight suspense till I have some pictures and say that I cut my hair.
I have to admit I nearly cried while the deed was being done. It was unimaginable, what I was doing. I adored my long hair so much, and was so thankful for it. But I'm so glad did it. I love this new hair. It's fun and fresh and so very free. Free from fear of an unknown future.
I don't want to known as the girl with the long hair, or the girl who dreams of traveling or even the girl who loves making the world more beautiful.
I want to be a girl so deeply entwined with her Saviour that her identity is wrapped up in His, and nothing else.
And now I've rambled on long enough... but I just want to say;
It's going to be an amazing year.
P.S. I apologize for being such a rubbishy hostess during these first few days of the Literary Heroine Blog Party! You've all been so amazing, and I've been enjoying each blog link up, the favorite birthday memories, the new faces and the old ones so much! I can't wait to visit each of you who've entered so far and discuss all the delicious details of each question...
There has been so much going on in my life this last week that I just had to step back and let things on the blog sink or swim, and not surprisingly, they seem to be doing just fine. Here's to the best LHBP ever! ♥