Birth of the Angel of Love

Long ago, before history was recorded, in a place where lovers gather around wishing wells, a young couple’s eyes met. This was for them, an instant recognition of each other. They both believed they had known each other before in a lifetime long ago.

Her family mostly came from the East, the Orient and the Americas. His family’s history derived from Europe and Africa and the continent of Australia. Together they represented a heritage of all nations and all continents. The lovely Lilly felt a kinship to the legendary Lemur and the handsome Philip, felt the pull of Atlantis.

Lilly’s sea green eyes saw only Philip, to her parent’s dismay. Philip was a seasoned horseman and an excellent archer. He would ride on his dark stallion and gallop right up to Lilly and scoop her up into his saddle to ride with him far into the yellow meadow. Galloping through a field of daisies, Philip would hold Lilly close so he could smell the lavender in Lilly’s long hair as it blew in the wind.

They rode until they came to a willow tree by a clear crystal lake where they would dismount. Alone in the splendor of this grassy meadow they would spend the entire afternoon clutched in each other’s arms. Words of love were whispered in each other’s ears. The two fell deeply in love.

Carefully they hung their clothes from the low branches of the willow tree as they bathed each other in the crystal blue lake. They watched as the setting sun made the lake turn red from its reflection. Lilly’s skin shimmered from the cool wetness of the water. She allowed the warmth of the setting sun to dry her body while standing silently with her arms stretched out wide toward the sky. Philip watched from the edge of the lake, a vision so lovely his eyes filled with tears.

As she continued to dry, Lilly helped Philip to dress again for the ride home. Many times he would turn toward her standing close until their skin touched. He begged her not to allow them to leave this place, their sanctuary. He wanted to stay forever with his love and she wanted only to remain in his embrace. Never was there a love more pure than theirs. His breath was her breath. Her heartbeat regulated his. Together they were joined as one and the Angels in heaven smiled.

All would have been perfect had their parents approved of the love between them. But because they were from different lands, no one could understand their differences and a union within their families was unthinkable. And so their love was forbidden like a curse placed on their hearts.

Secretly the couple met to nurture their love for one another and fulfill their need for each other’s touch. A year passed and another Spring arrived. Lilly was with child. But they knew they could not wed. One night as Lilly and Philip met secretly they devised a plan to sneak away in the night. They would travel across the land together until they found a place where no one knew them or cared. Here they could be together to raise their child. They would teach this child to love the diversities of all people and cultures. Love is the only truth that Philip and Lilly could promise to give.

Philip vowed to wait by the twisted oak tree that ran along a river to the west. They had both passed it many times on horseback and Lilly was sure of the way. He would wait there for his love to come to him that very night. Take the arrow from my bow, he instructed Lilly. When you are close, wave it in the air. I will see the golden tip glow in the dark of the night and I will hear its sound whistling against the wind. Then I will come from my hiding place behind the oak tree to take you in my arms forever.

That evening as Lilly slipped out the door of her home for the last time, her heart was racing. She ran to the edge of the road just as the first clasp of thunder rolled in. A terrible storm was brewing. Lilly had not walked far when the rain finally came. She strained to look into the woods that followed alongside the road to find a bit of shelter to wait out the storm. She started to walk into the forest. The wind was roaring and lightening lit up the sky. There deep into the woods she saw a thicket big enough for her to crawl into. She ran for it.

No more than fifteen minutes had passed while Lilly remain dry cuddled in the thicket. Already the rain was starting to subside but night had fallen quickly and as she gazed out into the woods all she could see was darkness. Lilly stood silently in the blackness of night looking in all directions. Which way was west? Somehow she was no longer sure which way to go. She had not realized that she had traveled so far off the road and she was not even sure in which direction to go to meet the road again. Lilly thought of her Philip waiting for her. She must start walking toward him but which way? Slowly Lilly walked what seemed to her to be a straight line in front of her. Surely this is the way back to the road, she thought.

Meanwhile Philip sat on the ground behind the twisted oak tree dreaming of the moment his Lilly would be in sight. Several times he thought he heard footsteps and peered from around the tree but no one was there. Perhaps it was just the sound of the storm off in the distance that he was hearing. His ears were playing tricks on him, he mused.

Hours passed and Lilly did not arrive. Philip was anxious now wondering what the delay could mean. Had she changed her mind? Was she found out by her parents who refused to let her leave? What could be keeping his love from him? Soon the darkness around him duplicated the bleakness of his saddened heart.

Finally after many hours of walking through the woods and never finding the road Lilly’s heart leapt with joy because there only a few yards in front of her was the twisted oak tree at last! She removed the arrow from her pack and waved it in the air. But Philip did not come out from behind the tree. Maybe he fell asleep. In a few moments Lilly reached the twisted tree but Philip was not there.

What Lilly did not realize was that she had indeed found a twisted oak but she had traveled in the wrong direction. Some 7 miles away Philip was waiting for her at another oak tree not knowing that she had veered off course in the middle of the storm.

Birds were singing, the sun not yet risen. The start of a new day. Miles apart both Philip and Lilly were waking from a lonely night’s sleep. Afraid to move from their positions by the oak neither Philip nor Lilly wanted to leave and have their love come and then find them gone. The day worn on and then the night but no one came, Lilly believing she was at the spot that was agreed upon and Philip believing that Lilly was held up unwillingly soon to arrive at any moment.

Two days passed then a third. The lovers barely slept and did not eat. They were growing weary of waiting and thoughts of abandonment raced around inside their heads. Lilly now feared for the baby inside her and even imagined his spirit leaving her. By the sixth day, both had grown extremely weak and their sad hearts were barely able to beat what was once the song of true love beating as one.

Hunger and thirst began to take over Lilly’s thoughts but she was too weak to move. She lay beneath the tree with her head near the trunk. She began to lose reality and hope. She nibbled at the ground trying to eat what vegetation there was but eventually ending up with only a mouthful of dirt.

She mind was becoming feeble. Her heart was breaking. Philip was not coming. He would never come. Even within her broken heart, Lilly knew that Philip loved her and would only stay away for her own protection. They may even have killed him to keep him from me, she thought. Finally she could bear no more. She spoke to the baby growing inside her. I cannot bear to live with the memory of him on your face. We can all be together in heaven. Then she took the arrow and pushed the golden tip into her heart and died.

An angel came and took the arrow back to heaven.

At that moment, Philip felt a sharp pain within his own heart. Somehow he knew his lady was gone and with her the only joy he would ever know. Over wrought with pain and anguish he imagined he saw an angel flying in sky with a blood stained arrow in his hand. He knew he had to go back to her parents and confess to killing her. He knew they would believe him and have him hanged.

There is a child’s spirit in heaven whose soul was never allowed to roam freely. Angels came for this spirit a long time ago believing they were protecting him and hid him from his earthly body knowing this body would soon be shattered to pieces. The spirit child was happy among the Angels but always knew that there was something missing. He longed to know the love of his mother and father but the Angels would never speak to him of them.

In the safety of what is little more than a few clouds, this spirit searches for true love hoping to find his mother and father. All he has learned, all that he knows is love and the promise of true love. When he sees two humans whose souls are like that of twins, he takes aim and flings his arrow with the golden tip into their hearts. Perhaps they will be his parents and give him his name.

But the Angels, they call him Cupid, the angel of love.

Birth of the Angel of Love

Judi Taylor

Stowe, United States

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Artist's Description

Short story about the arrows of true love.

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cupid love

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  • Naylor
  • Judi Taylor
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