When I moved to the US and learned English, I read everything I could get my hands on. One day at the public library I found the section with the Arthurian legend. I was HOOKED. Here was a group of people who were bonded by loyalty and a common belief. I pored over these legends and would often imagine myself in their world.
Of course I was never Guinevere. I thought she was stupid and I was mad at her for ruining everything. I was such a child and so judgmental. Nope – I was a knight and Arthur was my brother. We had such great imaginary adventures together. When mother was particularly unkind or angry, I would go into the woods on Bald Mountain, where we lived, and act out scenes and get lost in the imagery that danced my head.
Soon, Arthur became a “real person” in my imagination. He was no longer an aging king but a boy older and wiser than me. He was my brother who had been long lost. I ran into him while adventuring in the woods. He explained that he had been away and he was sorry he had left me behind because I was a girl. He pledged that he would never leave my side and that he would protect me. I had quite the imagination thank goodness – it helped me keep my sanity.
Anytime mother would have “one of those days” and tire enough to pass out on the couch, I would venture into the woods with my trusty survival knife and a book. Both were essential for a woodsy adventure – didn’t you know? The knife would protect me from bobcats and snakes and the book would protect me from boredom. Come on didn’t you do this too? LOL
I remember lying on a huge limb of a tree reading and having FULL conversations with my “brother”. When I would complain about this or that he would always calmly and sweetly encourage me to be strong like him. All of this will pass he would say – you will soon be a grown woman and you will have adventures of your own. He was so wise and he was right of course because here I am.
Then, in 2019 I found out I really did have an older brother. Mother had given him up for adoption. And lo and behold his birth name was Arthur. His adopted parents renamed him Greg but he will always be Arthur to me. I don’t need him to protect me anymore but I’m looking forward to getting to know him. Coincidence is cool, yeah?