While we watched birds eating at the bird feeder, Malcolm, a small faerie man, told me, “We must learn to walk upon our Mother Earth in the stillness of our spirit.”
He paused, reflectively watching the birds. “We must walk gently upon her as birds leaving their tracks in the snow. The tracks are there for a brief time until they melt away, leaving no sign of their passage. Learn to still your spirit so that even the birds trust to eat seed out of your hands. Then you will walk gently upon Mother Earth, doing her no harm and living in peace with Creation all around you. That is how our Mum and Da Creator meant for us to live.”
Then Malcolm became a bird and flew away.
Sometimes we may find ourselves in an in-between place. In this place, human noises fade to a low murmur, then disappear. Breezes rattle leaves softly. Bird songs become more lovely. A crow cawing pauses, takes a breath, and begins to sing a low, lovely song that breaks your heart, as it touches your soul with its haunting melody.
Colors are brighter. The sky is more blue. The leaves and grass are a brighter green. Standing still, you can feel the Earth hum beneath your feet.
A faerie passing by greets you with a wave. Surprised, you wave back, and for a few moments, magic dances along your skin in the brisk, enchanted air, before you are pulled back into the mundane world. Still, the faint touch of magic remains with you, like a hot spice lingering on your tongue.
Our wooden deck adjoins the back of our home, rising high among the trees like the deck of a ship anchored upon an ocean of green leaves. The faerie folk like to sit atop the honey-colored deck rails and watch the birds flutter and swing on the bird feeder. I also try to sit upon the deck as still as my faerie kin, so as not to disturb the small birds with my presence. It is always the brave small birds, rather than their larger feathered cousins, who tolerate my presence the best.
In the near distance, I hear the rolling, rumbling sound of thunder’s drum, warning of an approaching storm. The birds have flown to the protection of the trees, while the faerie folk still seated on the deck rails lift their faces to the darkening gray sky, happily anticipating the storm’s arrival. “Our dear Mother Earth needs a drink,” shouts one of the faerie men to me, over the sound of the rushing incoming wind.
Should I be brave like my faerie kin and stay on the deck to ride out the storm, or flee inside? Suddenly inside I go, as the first blinding flash of lightning crackles over my head, and the rain falls in sheets upon the pages of my notebook.
Safely inside, I watch through the window as the small faerie folk stand on the deck rails, arms raised upwards, small hands held open. With faces lifted upward to the face of the storm, they sing their storm songs, welcoming the wind and rain, and thanking the storm for giving parched Mother Earth a drink of life sustaining water.
Here comes the soft, murmuring patter of a light summer rain upon green leaves and the stony pathway. On the covered porch, my timid weather-wise self stays dry; that is, until the cheerful song of the birds within the trees shames me out of my dry sanctuary to join them in the rain. Together we enjoy the jewel-like raindrops of liquid light falling upon us. I hover beneath the canopy of the trees, with the birds above me hidden among the many branches of leaves. Standing there among the green, I become part man, part tree, listening to the Faerie Folk humming to themselves in the rain.
The sun pauses at the western door to take a last look at the earth below before retiring for the night. A strong wind shakes a tree, waves its sunlight-filled leaves, and rattles unseen musical chimes. Birds riding on the dancing limbs sing out their store of gossip gathered over the day.
At the bottom of the steep slope below our home, a sparkling stream flows swiftly, churning and tumbling over rocks. With determined focus, the sun makes her journey across the foot of the hill rising above the stream. The green-faced hill crowned with trees lifts her shining face to the sun and then turns to me as if in question.
I feel like a small child saying goodnight to his mother. Please be back before turn dawn, I whisper. With a smile, the hill retreats with the sun into the gathering darkness, through the western door.
With the promise of stars for nightlights, I go inside, where I await the return of my own beloved to our small home beneath the shining stars.
Outside my covered front porch, the wind rustles bud-tipped tree branches. Their thin twigs form secret runes, displayed openly for anyone to see. The wind chime overhead plays tinkling music as it dances with the wind.
A passing small faerie man, about 8 inches tall, tips his narrow-brimmed pointed hat to me, wishing me a good afternoon. We try to exchange a few pleasant words, but a car roars past, startling us from our tentative communication. The small faerie man’s shy wife was just becoming visible beside him, but upon hearing the sound of the car’s grinding tires on the asphalt, they both disappear. Though our connection has been abruptly broken, I still feel their presence out there, somewhere in my front yard.
With the car long gone, the birds carry on with their own musical conversation.