I am going to start with a disclaimer about where the wild faeries live, as my knowing might be a little different than yours.
Disclaimer: Wild faeries don’t live in the little faery (fairy) houses that you make or buy and put in the garden. That’s just a pipe dream (sorry to burst your bubble). If they did, it would be a very domesticated faery or fairy if you are referring to the pixie-like ones, but more probably a Borrower.
If you’ve never heard of a Borrower, then you are in for a delightful surprise. They are little beings who live around people and they are most likely responsible for things that go missing in the house when no one can find it. There are some books about them that tell about their escapades and you can get them on Amazon.
The faeries that I’m talking about are the wild sort that legends are made of. The ones that live deep in the woods and dance at the full moon amongst the flowers and the moss.
If you are lucky you can invite them into your garden to help the plants grow as they are lovers of all things green but you need to know the secret offering that they most love. If you ask them… they will tell you.
Yesterday was a cool, clear and very windy day and I went for a walk along a faery trail.
I knew it was a faery trail as I had been that way before and heard their whisperings and songs. I didn’t actually see or talk to any, but I could feel their presence.
This particular trail is by a lake and winds amongst the trees, mud filled swamp, over a stream and climbs up to a busy people’s path.
But the faery trail is special. Only people who know and are aware that faeries exist are likely to spot the trailhead.
Back to the faeries. Another important factor in seeing the trailhead is being present. Being totally in the moment with the trees, the songs of the birds, the rustle of the leaves and voices of the woods.
So… not on your cell phone talking or texting, thinking about what you are going to do tomorrow or the next, worrying about the things in life you can’t do anything about or speed walking. You can do all those things while walking in the woods if you want, but you will miss so much of the beauty around you and of course… the faery’s trailhead.
The trailhead glimmered a little brighter than the wood around it and it was almost like pushing through a membrane or spiders web to walk down its deep green depths.
The sunshine made the forest looked like it was dappled with light and dark and the trees whispered a song.
At the base of a tree, you could see where a squirrel had lunch feeling safe and secure in the forest. Squirrels have been known to carry faeries when they need to get somewhere fast and they will glide with them through the tree tops to their destination.
Faeries only ask the squirrels if it’s an emergency as squirrels are a bit scatterbrained and can forget what they are doing part way through the trip.
As I walked a little further to my delight saw a forest of flowers. Well, it would have been a forest to a faery and the bees were helping by visiting the flowers.
The bees are kind to the faeries and let them have all the honey they want as they take so very little, and in turn, the faeries let them know when flowers are in bud and just about to bloom.
There was a moss covered rock that smelled like faery and I could almost see them sitting there telling stories around a campfire. There was a little bare spot in the middle that almost looked like something small had been burnt there.
Did I mention that faeries like moss? Moss is like a green highway that is soft and spongy beneath their feet. It’s cool in the summer and protects what it covers in the winter.
Can’t you just see them running along the winding branch of the tree? Beats running on the ground over hill, dale and downed trees.
Then I came to the base of a cedar tree and in a hollowed out place in the trunk I saw where the wild faeries live. The entrance was camouflaged with bracken and the do not disturb sign was out.
I didn’t linger long as with any wild thing you don’t want to alarm them or worst yet, not have them return because you were poking and prying.
But I did notice that their home was right by a babbling brook for water. Shallow enough to see the rocks at the bottom and it reflected the blue of the sky and the green of the trees. What a wondrous sight to wake up to every morning.
The ferns on the rocks and trees act as an umbrella for them, although they don’t mind getting wet. Faeries are very social amongst themselves, so patches of ferns can be a meeting place when the weather is inclement.
Through the underbrush, I spotted movement and I thought that maybe… just maybe a faery had come to visit me. But what I saw instead was what we humans call a leucistic American Robin.
According to Wikipedia:
Leucism is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes.
But really, that is just the scientific name for where the faeries have placed their special markings in their reverence to these animals or birds.
They have formed a special bond with them whether at birth or through an act of kindness that they have done for the faeries. Because of this, the faeries have given them this unusual brand to let everyone know that this living being has gone beyond its normal behaviour and done something extraordinary.
Where ever the creature or bird in this case goes, it always stands out and apart from its neighbours as being touched by a faery.
But wait… what was that?
A flash of light, a shift of green or just my imagination.
It felt like I was being watched and I caught a glimpse of a shadow on a log and looking closer, a flower petal where no flowers were.
The next moment I was out on the people’s path and the faery trail closed behind me, like the shutting of a door.
There was no going back and yet… if I walk that path another day, I hope that they will once again allow me to be part of their world, if only for a little while.
Feature image copyrights Moyan Brenn