Barefoot Walking on Mother Earth

Tom, the Brownie, tells me he stands over eight inches tall barefoot.

“It is true,” says Tom. “I am tall for a Brownie fella. I also love to walk upon Mother Earth with my bare feet. So does Deidre!” says Tom, gesturing towards his wife, who is standing next to him. Deidre smiles and nods, as does her friend, Greta, who is standing next to her.

“It is healing to walk upon our Mother Earth barefooted,” Tom claims. “Also,” he continues, “only by walking barefoot upon her can we truly sense what she is feeling. It is good to walk barefoot whether the day is sun-filled with a gentle breeze caressing the leaves on the trees, or a stormy day with banshee-shrieking winds crashing through the trees, breaking off their dead limbs and hurling them to the ground. It is good to experience all types of weather walking upon Mother Earth barefoot.”

Greta adds, “We are quite proud of you for walking barefoot all the way to your mailbox yesterday.”

“Thank you,” I reply, “but it was quite nerve-wracking trying to avoid all those sharp, pointed sticks and rocks lurking in the grass.”

“Sometimes it takes great courage to walk barefoot, and you were very brave,” Tom says with a big smile. Deidre and Greta blow me kisses, while Tom gives a cheery wave before disappearing.

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Library Brownies

In our small town library live two brownies. Their names are Tabitha and Josh. They are very shy, so rarely, if ever, are they seen. They love books and love to care for them. I am told that most, if not all libraries and bookstores – especially used bookstores – have at least two faerie folk in residence. These are mostly brownies, but are sometimes brees, occasionally gnomes and, even more rarely, elves.

By way of thanks to the faerie folk, all they ask is that you respect the libraries and bookstores. Do not misfile or mistreat the books. Be kind to the library and bookstore staff. The faerie folk also ask that if you should ever see them in a library or bookstore, please do not make a big deal of it. Just a cheery wave or a quiet hello is all the faeries ask.

Mother Earth 2017

Tom and his wife, Deirdre, a doll-sized brownie couple, stand beside the stream watching the other faerie folk play in its freezing waters. Shivering in the cold wind, I ask them, “Do you know what’s coming?”

Deirdre replies, “Do you ask this question because your new leaders do not believe in the suffering on Mother Earth?”  My frustration causes me to choke up.

“Worse weather,” responds Tom.  “More suffering for everyone.  Not just for humans, but for all of us.”  He pauses, “You know, we faerie folk pray for humanity to finally ‘get it’ – that you are not separate from Creation.  When will humans realize that you need Mother Earth as much as she needs you?  We are all connected to one another, and we need each other.  Even we faerie folk are connected to you humans and you to us.

“You must understand, every part of Creation is important from the smallest creature to the largest mountain.  It is all worth protecting, worth saving.  Everything put here on Mother Earth by the Mother – Father Creator has the right to exist.  Who is man to decide otherwise?

“You ask what is coming?  We believe Hope is coming.  We faerie folk believe, against all odds, that human hearts will suddenly wake up to Mother Earth’s suffering.  Then you will know we are all part of one another.  We are all brothers and sisters of Creation, basking in the love of God.”

Tom falls silent.  Then with a shrug, he adds, “I am a bit overheated.”  Gesturing to the freezing cold waters of the stream, he offers, “Want to go swimming with us?  We can all use a cooling off.”

I shake my head no and thank them for the talk.  Deirdre gives me a playful wave as I rush back to the warmth of my house, escaping the bite of the freezing wind.

All Souls’ Day

I watch a small group of spirits pass through our yard.  “They are on their way to visit their loved ones living nearby,” says Tom, a small Brownie man standing next to me.

I think upon the foster family who raised me – my mom, dad, brothers, aunts, uncles and both grandmas – all of them now living in the spirit lands.  Now and then I feel their loving presence near me.

Tom, reading my thoughts, gives my leg a few pats.  “Do not worry, lad.  Your family has not forgotten you.  Why here they are now!”  He vanishes as I hear my name called.

Autumn Light

Sloan, a red-haired Brownie man sitting on the deck railing, points out, “It is easier to see everything as enchanted under the Autumn light.  That is because the Autumn light pulls back the curtain on the mundane things of your world.  You then see everything for what it truly is . . . enchanted.  You see, we faerie folk know nothing in Creation is truly mundane.  That is an illusion suffered by humans.  It is as if you are all under a sleeping curse from which you need to be awakened.  So wake up, the lot of you!”

Clapping his hands, he vanishes into the fading Autumn light.

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.

 

Brigid’s Mantle

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.