When my niece was about three years old she told me she wanted to play a game called Queen. I looked at her and told her I didn’t know what the game Queen was. She patiently explained that she would leave the room, wrap a towel around her head (that would be her crown) and then she would come back. When she entered the room, my job was to clap and smile and wave and cheer her on, because, of course, she was the queen.
Most girls her age like playing house. My niece liked playing Queen.
When my niece was four, I took her for a long walk in the woods on a cold, snowy day in December. She is from the city so this was quite a magical adventure for her. We came across a large puddle that was frozen from the winter cold and my niece pretended to ice skate on the frozen puddle.
For a time, she was lost in her own world of imagination as I watched on. At one point she looked up and said: Look Hayley, I’m the Queen of the ice.
I smiled and agreed, yes sweetie pie, you are the Queen of the ice.
It began to get very cold and close to lunch time and my nieces’ lips were shivering and so I gave the customary five minute notice that we would be heading home soon.
She ignored me, too lost in her own imaginary world to give much regard to what I was saying.
Okay, sweetie pie, in two more minutes we are going to start walking home, your mommy is going to be worried about us and its very cold outside.
Again, no response from the Queen of the ice.
Okay, sweetie pie, it’s time to go. I say two minutes later.
At this point my niece, completely lost in her character and imaginary world, looks up to me with contempt. Her normally sweet countenance has changed. She glares at me and says quite sternly:
Hayley. I. Am. The. Queen. Of. The. Ice. I tell you when we leave, you do not tell me.
And in that moment, the veil between worlds lifts for me and we are both in another time and in another place. She is not a four year old, she is the Queen. I am not her aunt; I am her faithful servant and care giver. We are in another world and another time. Memories are flooding me. I have joined her in her not so imaginary world.
And then the veil closes and I am back in this world with my four year old niece who is still lost in character.
I don’t want to take away her authority at this moment and remind her that in this life she is unfortunately not the Queen but instead a mere four year from new jersey, and so instead I say:
You know since you are the Queen, you can stay here as long as you want but I’m cold so I’m going to head home now.
And with that I turned and walked away.
Thirty seconds later I hear the pitter patter of little feet running to catch up to me. I can tell my four year old niece is back.
Hayley, Hayley, I’ve decided it’s cold outside and time for lunch, I think we should go home now.
Great idea Ariana, you are a very good Queen.
And with that we hold hands and continue through the winter wonder land and make our way home. I am her aunt and she is the four year but I see now that we have a bond from another time where she was the Queen and I her faithful servant and care giver.
Last night, I was talking to my now 8 year old niece on Face time and we were reminiscing about walking in the woods and the snow and her being the Queen of the ice. She is mindlessly playing with her Legos while we talk. She is once again somewhat lost in her imaginary world, and she says to me:
When I ice skate on the ice and I hear the ice cracking beneath my feet it reminds me of when I was in the palace and how the floor boards used to crack. It reminds me of the palace because the floor boards made the same sounds.
I pause. I did not know why skating on the ice brought back Queen memories for her. I also pause because I know for a moment she is back in a different world in a different time. She is an eight year old from new jersey, playing with her Legos, remembering her life in the palace.
Later, I recount the whole story to my sister, who is not sure is she believes in past lives or not. But in this moment my sister suspends her beliefs and looks at me says with a smile:
I’m not sure if she really was a Queen in a past life or not, but that sure would explain a lot.
Sometimes we are who we are not because of our childhood conditioning or how are parents treated us, but because of who we have been in a past life. My niece came into this world strong and sweet and determined. She had many leadership attributes from day one.
Not everything is due to childhood conditioning.
Look closely at those around you. They leave whispers and hints about who they were in the past and the karmic learning they are engaged in now. We have many lives and play many roles in this journey through the cosmos, in this journey through time.