Authors: Anne Eliot Crompton
Here he had played with Lili, his only friend, while Alanna and Ivie visited the Lady. He and Lili had built bowers and dens of twigs, and modeled tiny figures from lake mud to live in them. They had learned Mage Merlin's songs at his knee, and sung them, and then made up their own. Here they had netted minnows in the shallows, and shot darts at flitting songbirds. Here, Lili had helped him trap his first hare.
Or had all this been a dream?
Real Apple Island still rose gently from the lake. Loaded apple trees bowed down around lofty Counsel Oak. Lady Villa still gleamed, a little less white, through a few more encircling vines. The shore stretched rocky, autumn-brown.
A brown sapling lifted roots from land.
Graceful as a walking willow it came down to the water.
With no splash or gurgle, Lili stepped into the lake.
Percival's clean-washed heart lurched and beat again.
Coming to him, small feet gliding like fish in the water, Lili shone.
Holy Michael! She always talked about auras. Now I'm seeing one!
Coming to him, smiling, Lili waded through rosy light. Leaving no ripple she came to him.
“Lo, Lili! You shine so bright!”
Gold rings a center pearly white;
Around the gold, a blue ring bright;
Gold and blue, snow-dappled white.
Around the blue, red ruby light,
This too, snow-dappled pearly white.
Around the red ring, infinite white.
White inside and outside white,
Gold, blue, and red, snow-dappled white,
One day will meld, infinite white.
Anne Eliot Crompton grew up in a college town in the 1940s, a time when women's roles in myth were less acknowledged than today. When she married and moved to the country to raise children and animals, she realized how much heavy lifting had been done by women throughout human history. Part of her life's work has been to shine light on their immense contribution to the human story. Having come full circle, she now lives in a college town in Vermont.