Just over my shoulder, I see a face.
I feel at ease except for the dark face that lies in wait for me to stumble or hesitate. Elf is not strong on her own, for she often naps and explores the shadows quietly, yet I feel her there.
I often turn away, don't look, as I rest in peace through the gentle dreams and daily illusion that Gaia shares in such magnificent abundance. I even lose track entirely sometimes of little Elf who can create mischief when I am not aware of the bits of plans and schemes she weaves with her nimble fingers.
Elf hops and skips, not always intending harm or chaos - at certain moments I pause and invite her help and then she is eager to share her knowledge. I listen carefully. Discernment is necessary. Elf is helpful and I turn to hold her closely to me so that she doesn't get too carried away. For if I ignore her completely, she can build volcanoes and sinkholes of quicksand so rapidly that I am consumed before I realize what has happened and then Elf laughs, clapping her hands, a wicked grin upon her sly wee face. But then I turn to her and see all the streaks of mud and war-paint and trails of ashes upon her tiny face and I gently hold her, washing away the debris with my tears until she is clean and calm once more, and I send her off to play, keeping an eye upon her games.
Elf is a sensitive creature, given to fits of fear - I see this and seek to reassure that she doesn't need to worry about disappearing for we are on this manifest journey through the world together and I need her to help me in roles I play. Elf is good at working back-stage to pull out different disguises to protect me or discover lavish costumes for me to dance in. It is up to me to monitor her more subtle choices or the teasing dares to wear a cloak and dagger or carry a trap that needs to be set.
Elf just wants to be seen and accepted. So when I see her, there, behind my shoulder, getting anxious or planning some diabolical scheme, I turn to her and say "come here, Elf" and I embrace her and we are One.