Louise and I are not identical twins. She’s an elf. How do I know? When elfin matters call, Louise doesn’t go out and buy special clothes for the occasion. She already has them in her closest, including the tall hats and pointy shoes. I mean, who has elf garb in their wardrobes? Elves of course.
Truth be told, I’ve known all our lives that Louise is an elf because she occasionally appears before me dressed like one, especially at Christmas time. At first I was a little concerned about a sister who transitions into a tomato sandwich at Halloween and an elf at Christmas. But I have quickly become accustomed to her whimsical ways.
English elves, called the Ellyllon in Wales, where my maternal ancestors were born, live in mounds of stones, now called stucco. Their food consists of toadstools on toast with fairy butter. They can be seen dancing over prairie meadows alongside sleepy creeks, especially at night and on misty mornings. Elves are often accompanied by a flock of Blue House Sparrows and a coterie of cats and dogs.
When she isn’t toiling down at the workshop, Louise busies herself with supernatural elfin activities. She jumps in her Mini mobile, fronted by a big red nose and one antler because she’s lost the other, and races off, delivering winter coats to the needy, and sacks of gifts, trees and decorations to other human beings. She’s been performing these magical acts of giving since she was no bigger than a fairy.
Wolfriders, forest dwelling companions of elves, say that to love like an elf is to love the life in everything, and more than anything, to love the life in you.
When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
Dr. Oliver Sacks, the poet laureate of medicine
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