Upon Faerie Hill’s green grass, tiny sheep graze. Newborn lambs stay close to their mothers. All are watched over by Brownie shepherds holding crooked staffs in their hands. On St. Brigid’s Feast Day – also known as Imbolc, the Celtic festival of lactating ewes – there will be plenty of milk for all.
Crows caw, the cold wind blows, but beneath the tattered remnants of winter, Brigid’s green mantle unfolds with the promise of spring.
With the coming of a severe winter storm, human activity diminishes somewhat, giving our Mother Earth some much needed rest.
On the snow-covered hill behind our home, Faerie Folk sled down the icy hill on their beautiful, polished wooden sleds. Faster than the wind, they fly over the icy waters of the narrow creek, coming to rest safely on the other side with a whooshing spin of snow and ice. Laughing, they drag their sleds back up the hill to do it all over again.
Some of the Faerie have created little snowmen and snow women, but with a special Faerie touch. With their pointed ears and caps, the snow people look more like snow Faeries than snowmen.
There are also snow angels being made, and a good-natured snowball fight has begun. A Faerie man is waving for my wife and me to join them – Faeries against humans. I consider it, but with just the two of us and hundreds of them, we just might be buried beneath enthusiastically-thrown snowballs, so I politely decline.
The neighbors’ elderly orange cat strolls slowly down the Faerie hill to the liquid sunlight-filled stream below. The cat pauses a moment on the stream’s green, grassy bank. Then, with a graceful leap, he sails over the glistening waters of the narrow stream, landing neatly on the grassy edge of the other side.
The Faerie Folk, impressed with the ancient cat’s youthful agility, break out into wild applause. The old cat barely registers the racket of their appreciative clapping. Gifting the Faeries with a look of kitty disdain, the old fellow continues on his way home.
“Strange weather we are having,” remarks the small Faerie man standing next to me on the bank, as we watch the sun-sparkling waters of the stream flow past us.
“Strange indeed,” I agree. Suddenly I have a vision of Grandmother Winter lying back upon a blanket, enjoying the feel of the sun’s warmth upon her face. I tell my Faerie friend of that brief vision.
He chuckles. “That does sound like the old girl. Even though she be Grandmother Winter, she does still like the warmth of the sun to warm her old bones. I wonder,” he muses, “if Summer is visiting us in Winter, will Winter pay us a visit in Summer?”
“I wondered that myself,” I tell him, “when a group of visiting Sprites expressed the same question to my wife and me a couple of weeks earlier.”
The small man replies, “It is as if the weather cannot make up its mind about what it should be. Should I be Winter, or should I be Summer, or both at the same time?”
He shakes his head. “Still, we should not take an unexpected gift of sunshine for granted. I am off with the missus to enjoy the remains of a sunny day. And I hope you feel the warmth of the sun on your face this day.” With a tip of his pointed hat, he disappears into the warm sunshine.
[Written during the summer-like days of December 2015.]
The newborn Yule sun glimmers weakly through the gray clouds, illuminating the green Faerie hill below. On the hill, some Faeries go about their daily business, while others take time to lie back upon the green grass, basking in the pale sunlight.
At the bottom of the hill, a narrow stream made wild by days of rain roars its intention to leap its earthen banks, tumbling small and large rocks along in its wake. Faeries standing and sitting on its banks feel the surging power of the stream thrumming within their hearts, their spirits surging with the rushing waters of the stream.