Anna’s Hope

“In the beginning, when Creation was young, humans, faeries, animals, trees and rocks, we all spoke the same language,” said the fair-haired faerie woman named Anna, her mist gray eyes gazing back into the past. “There were a lot less misunderstandings back then.”

She paused, gathering her thoughts. Looking directly at me, she continued, “It was when we drifted apart, when we became for the first time ‘us and them people,’ when we shattered from one folk into many different tribes – that is when the misunderstandings began. They were at first small misunderstandings, which suddenly grew into terrible wars. It has been the same ever since, except the wars have become more terrible, with more innocent lives lost than ever before.”

She paused, wiping tears from her eyes. “If only we could learn how to speak to one another again, perhaps to understand one another again. Then maybe we could become one people again – humans, faeries, animals, trees and stones. Then war would exist no more.”

She smiled, and with a wave, disappeared into the hedge.

A Faerie Good Morning

In the early morning, as the stars make their way to bed and the sun, yawning, begins his climb into the sky, morning greetings from the faerie folk cut through the dream cobwebs of my sleep.  I try to dig down deeper into sleep, attempting to capture some tattered fragment of a dream that might become a blanket to hide under to protect me from their incessant early morning cheerfulness.  But, like a determined cat, insisting that it is long past time to get out of bed, the faeries keep prodding me with their wide awake banter.

Unlike humans, faeries tend their flower and vegetable gardens beneath the early morning sky.  Wide awake, they are already enjoying their day before even the sun rises from his sleep.  I finally succumb to their expectations of the beginning birth of a beautiful morning and stumble from my bed to be reborn like the day.

Tree Whispers

A brownie man named Edwin spoke with me this Friday morning.  Edwin is a red-haired fellow with bright green eyes.  He wore a green cap atop his red hair, along with a green vest over a yellow shirt, brown pants and boots.  We chatted while we sat on my front covered porch, I sitting in a chair rapidly writing down our conversation, while Edwin perched calmly on the porch table talking and peacefully smoking his pipe.

“So, what did the tree whisper to you through her trembling leaves the other day?” asked Edwin, referring to the day when I was sitting beneath the branches of the Tulip Poplar tree that looms over our back deck.  The wind suddenly picked up, rustling the leaves on the nearby trees, and the tree whispered to me.  “Well?” Edwin waited, puffs of smoke balls circling about his head like small planets.

“I’m not sure,” I replied with some hesitation.

“Not sure?” Edwin raised his eyebrows.

Clearing my thoughts, I tried to recapture the exact words I thought the tree whispered to me.  I think it said, “Why can’t my children love each other the way I love them?”

“The tree said that?” Edwin inquired.

“There’s more,” I admitted.

“Well?”  Edwin stared at me intently.

“The tree claimed to be God speaking.”

“The tree claimed to be God?” Edwin repeated back to me, his pipe momentarily forgotten.

“Well, no,” I responded.  “The tree didn’t claim to be God, but that God was speaking through the whispering leaves of the tree.”

“Do you have some doubts it was God speaking to you?”

“Well, yes, I do.”

Edwin waved his pipe about, “Why is it so strange to believe it was God speaking to you?  God is speaking to us all the time, if we just care to listen.”  Edwin paused. Smiling, he asked, “Would you have believed it was God talking to you if the tree was on fire?  Like Moses’ burning bush?”  Edwin paused, trying to keep from laughing, “Did the tree tell you to take off your shoes because you were sitting on holy ground?”

“No!” I replied indignantly.

Edwin raised his hands, his pipe still putting out gentle puffs of smoke.  “I am just teasing you, lad,” he chuckled.  “So what else did the tree have to say?”

I paused, choosing my words carefully from memory.  “Tell my children to stop hurting one another and to love each other and to show love for my Creation I made with my own hands.”  As I told Edwin the words of the tree, I felt myself trying not to cry.

Edwin placed a small hand on my shoulder. “The things the tree said sound like God to me, lad.  Like I said earlier, God is always talking to us, but do we ever care to listen?”  With a smile, Edwin faded away, taking his small galaxy of circling puff balls of smoke with him.

The Return of the Ancient Forest

On a sunny afternoon as the wind whispered through the leaves, my dog and I visited the stream down the hill from our house.  I fell into a trance as I watched the water flow over the rocks in the bed of the stream, while my dog tried to chomp on every gnat and mosquito in mid-air.

Feeling as though I was being watched, I looked up from my water gazing to find two gnomes standing on the bank across the stream.  After friendly greetings were exchanged, the female gnome with long braided blonde hair and bright green eyes told me her name was Wendy.  The male gnome with dark hair and a beard was Ted.  “Like the bear,” he added.

Wendy and Ted told me they lived on top of the hill where, a few years ago, a developer built some houses.  I had the impression that the developer built his houses very near, if not on top of, their home.  I asked Wendy and Ted, “Did it not make you angry when the developer did that?”

“Angry?  Yes, at first,” Ted replied.  “But now we only feel sad.  Not for us, but for you and others who mourn the loss of the forest.”

 

Wendy, smiling sadly, added, “We are doing fine.  We just pulled our home deeper into the Faerie lands.  It is you and your neighbors who must suffer the loss of so many trees.”

“When Wendy and I first settled here so many years ago, this,” Ted gestured to the hill behind him, “was all old growth forest.  The only humans we saw occasionally were the native folk, which you know today as the Cherokee, and they respected the forest.”

Wendy added, “Remember, Ted, there were also more of the native faerie folk.  The Yunwi Tsunsdi were all around at that time.”

Ted nodded, “I remember, Wendy.  These woods were full of those good folk.”

Wendy, in a soft wistful voice, almost a whisper, added, “And we lived in peace.  We, the Yunwi Tsunsdi, and the Cherokee had no trouble with one another.  We lived in harmony with each other and the land.”

Ted frowned, “Then the white settlers came and sent the Cherokee away on the long march, far away from their homes.”

“What about the Yunwi Tsunsdi?” I  asked.

Wendy had tears in her eyes.  “Many of the Yunwi Tsunsdi went with the Cherokee on their long march far away, for the Yunwi Tsunsdi see themselves as protectors of the Cherokee people.  Many others of the Yunwi Tsunsdi could not bear to  see their Cherokee Children treated so badly, and they retreated deeper into the forest, where they still remain to this day.”

Ted, looking about, remarked, “This hill sure has changed since we’ve lived here, has it not, Wendy?”  Wendy nodded.  “The white settlers cut down all the forest.  Later, a group of settlers planted apple trees.”

“The apple trees were nice,” added Wendy.

“Yes, dear, the apple grove was nice, but they did not take care of it.  Then they cut down the grove!” Ted declared, shaking his head.  Looking me in the eye, he added, “Wendy and I have seen many changes on this hill, and we will see a few more changes before the old growth forest returns.”  Maintaining his eye contact with me, Ted continued, “And the ancient trees will be back one day, and Wendy and I will still be here to welcome them and the Cherokee people back home.”

With that, Wendy and Ted bade me and my dog a good day and vanished into the hill.

 

The Vegetable Garden

“A new vegetable garden should not be planted with such grumbling and complaining,” sternly advised the small faerie man sitting cross legged on our front porch table.  “The new plants should be reassured when they are being set in the soil that you have picked out the best plot in the garden for them to be planted.  New plants should be planted with songs and poetry, not grumbling and complaining.”

“I guess we did do a bit of grumbling and complaining,” I remarked, thinking uncomfortably about my wife’s and my vegetable planting a few days earlier.

He nodded, “And it did not boost the new plants’ confidence one little bit when you mentioned how last year’s garden died a dismal death in that very spot.”

“We didn’t say that,” I protested feebly.

“You might as well have,” quipped the faerie man.  “But do not worry.  I and the others have been talking to them, telling them they will be okay.”

“Thank you and the other faeries for reassuring our plants.”

“No problem,” the faerie man smiled, “but do not be surprised if, during the night, some of your wee plants pull themselves out of your garden and sneak over and plant themselves in ours.”  Laughing, he suddenly vanished from the table.

 

 

A Faerie Morning

Even before the sun rises from his rumpled early morning bed, the faerie folk have already begun their day.  Small faerie women and men gather around and within the small stone circle below our house.  Drinking from their steaming cups of morning brew, they socialize and speak of their plans for the day with their neighbors.

In the trees above, the birds face the dawn and greet the slowly rising sun with song.  This magic of the morning timidly taps at the bedroom windows of the houses nearby.  Inside their beds, humans grasp fitfully at the tattered remnants of their dreams, dreading the sun’s approach and the rude awakening squawk of their alarm clocks.

The Easter Egg Hunt

Once upon a time, as recent as yesterday or maybe even tomorrow, a woman (we shall call her Sadie) rested comfortably in her rocking chair beneath the roof of her front porch. Half awake, half asleep, Sadie was contemplating some of the events from her long life when she heard a voice call out, “Come along. You do not want to be late for the Easter egg hunt, do you?”

Opening her eyes, Sadie beheld, standing before her, a large, gray rabbit wearing a green top hat with openings for his long, gray, upright ears.  A wide green hat band encircled the top hat, with a large 4-leaf clover shamrock tucked neatly beneath the band.  The rabbit also sported a green frock coat with long tails.  “Well, come along,” suggested the rabbit, holding out his paw.

Sadie, as if in a dream and without thinking there was anything the least bit unusual about a large gray rabbit in a top hat and frock coat summoning her to an Easter egg hunt, reached out her hand and took his paw.  She suddenly found herself standing with the rabbit in a most beautiful garden filled with bright flowers of all colors, basking beneath the sun-filled sky.  The birds in the trees sang so sweetly that Sadie was almost brought to tears as she listened to their songs.

Large, beautiful butterflies fluttered about the garden, but then Sadie realized that many of the butterflies were winged faeries.  She also spotted doll-sized male and female faeries carrying Easter eggs about the garden.

“Hello!  I am so glad you came to help me find Easter eggs.  The faeries are ever so good at hiding them.”  Sadie looked down and saw a beautiful little girl gazing up at her.  The little girl looked ever so familiar, but she could not remember who she was.  “Here,” said the little girl, handing her an empty basket.

“Time to begin the Easter egg hunt!” declared the large rabbit, clapping his furry paws together.

Together, Sadie and the little girl hunted for the Easter eggs they found hidden beneath flowering bushes and tucked up on easily-reachable limbs of trees.  Sadie tried to let the little girl collect most of the eggs, but the little girl would have none of it.  After a very pleasant time of hunting eggs, filled with laughter, the little girl, over the old woman’s protestations, made sure to divide the colorful eggs evenly between the two of them.

Sadie finally admitted to the little girl, “I feel I should know you, but I just can’t remember your name.”

The little girl laughed gaily.  “I am you, silly.  You left me behind long ago when you grew up and stopped believing in magic.”

And with that, Sadie’s eyes snapped open, and she found herself back in the rocking chair on her front porch.  “What a wonderful dream,” she murmured to herself.

“You forgot your Easter egg basket,” said the large gray rabbit, handing her a basket filled to the brim with brightly colored Easter eggs.  With a wink and a tip of his top hat to her, the rabbit quickly disappeared.

Sadie remained out upon her porch, rocking gently back and forth in her rocking chair.  Cradling the Easter basket in her arms, she smiled at the wonderment of it all.