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Archive for the ‘Fairy Circles’ Category

sunsetWinter gives us the best sunsets. I don’t really know why, maybe it’s the humidity combined with the angle of the sun, all I know is that when the clouds feather out across the western sky we get beautiful, fleeting sunsets.

Dusk in the land of the faeries on the other hand lasts for at least an hour, I think. It’s hard to tell because there aren’t any clocks. I really wonder if time is different here. Everything seems to melt together into one phenomenal whole, what I mean is, in the land of the Fae you don’t say, I did this thing at 10:00 and then we went here around 2:00, it’s more like everything happens all at the same time.

The sun was going down, but I couldn’t tell where west was. Everything just got darker, and the sunset looked like the whole sky was a dome swirled with iridescent pink and orange (no clouds). I think I know why the faeries are attracted to the flowers in the garden, it reminds them of their home.

Standing at the entrance to the palace, I watch as the last of the light fades from the sky. It seems like I have been here forever,  I would really like to be back home with Bill and my dogs.

My faerie friends have been very gracious, coming and going, bringing me stuff, making sure that I have anything I want. I would have thought that being in an ice palace would freeze me but I haven’t been the least bit cold, it must be the “faerie charms” they have set around the Palace.

After the sky was completely black, Sunny and Arial darted in through the arch followed by Bella, Pip, and Ferne. The faeries were  in a flutter, shooting back and forth, and then around in circles, they laughed as they tried to braid my hair, all at the same time. It was sort of cute having  my own tiny ladies in waiting. After my hair was done in a riot of tiny braids and I had long garlands of roses draped all over me, they led me outside, through a beautifully kept herb garden, and down a steep path bordered with huge ferns and thousands of faerie globes that glowed with a soft white light.

The end of the path opened out onto a wide, flat meadow surrounded by giant oak and willow trees. Every so often pine trees could barely be seen mixed into the background. There were Honeysuckle bushes and Ivy everywhere underneath the trees (I bet that’s why Sunny always smells like honeysuckle!)

I was led to a flat rock the jutted out of the mossy carpet of grass and they  motioned for me to sit on it, so I did. I sat there and watched as the whole meadow filled up with faeries, even more than I had seen when we arrived at the palace. They were glowing, like they do all the time. Each had a globe that they held in front of them and they all moved in unison to an unheard tune.

When the last of the faeries had taken their place, Orlaith, Queen of the Frost Faeries, materialized in a shower of bright white sparkles in the very middle of the field and a hush fell over the crowd. She hovered several feet above the group, her wings glittered in the darkness and her gown whorled around her in a fine mist. I noticed the she was smaller than when she received me at the palace, but slightly larger than the rest of the court gathered around her.

Awestruck at the spectacle unfolding right in front of me, I just sat there with my mouth hanging open. Sunny must have noticed because she  came around and gently pushed my chin up. I smiled at her and held up my hand for her to sit on. She landed on my palm and turned to watch the show.

Orlaith held up her wand and waved it over her head, the dark canopy of the sky lit with stars, larger and brighter than I have ever seen, then she waved the wand toward one side of the meadow and great tables of food and drink appeared. Immediately, there was a huge surge of little faerie bodies toward the tables.

th_fairyringdanceArial brought a goblet over to me along with a plate of small biscuits and strawberries. I watched in amazement as the glass and plate grew to fit my grasp (more faerie magic). We ate and sang, first one group of faeries and then another took turns dancing around in a circle in the middle of the meadow. I couldn’t tell where the music was coming from, it seemed to echo out in all directions. At one point I could swear that I saw other small creatures coming out of the forest to join in the festivities. I rubbed my eyes and looked again, yes, there across the meadow a brilliant white unicorn had wandered out to see if there was a biscuit left for her.

The merrymaking went on into the wee hours of the morning. I can remember lying back on the rock where pillows had been placed.  I felt unusually sleepy and just couldn’t keep my eyes open.  A mist sprang up all around me and opened my eyes just in time to see Orlaith raise her wand and point it right at me….

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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I have only myself to blame for ending up in the realm of the Fae, however in my defense, I have had no experience with peeking through openings into other worlds! So when a four foot tall faerie tells you to follow her and hands you a bowl of fruit, you don’t question it, you just follow.

We walked in silence, the flute that I had heard earlier was gone, the only sound that I heard was the rustling of the tall grass (that must have been what I heard when I was standing with my ear to the ivy). As we got closer I could see that there were hundreds of faeries darting in and out of the various openings in the sides of the ice palace. It had the effect of a huge undulating rainbow in the sunlight. (it sort of looked like a colorful beehive, but not with bees).

We crossed over a sparkling bright blue stream, where fish that looked like they were half butterfly and half  goldfish were jumping in and out of the water. We entered the palace through massive crystal doors. Inside, the walls reflected the sunlight at all angles, making the palace glitter.

There were more of the tall faeries, and they were all walking, well, sort of walking, it was more of a glide (I guess they don’t fly unless they are tiny). My escort guided me under an arch into a room that had a light pink glow, ” the queens court will be with you shortly.” She glided back through the arch the way we had come to leave me standing all by myself.

It wasn’t long before streaks of purple and green, which could only be Arial and Ferne, came whizzing around my head. Only after I was really dizzy did they stop and light on my shoulders. “Hey Ferne, you must have finished cleaning up under the Hawthorne tree. Do you think our new gnome friends will be happy with your work?” She smiled and nodded and began to braid my hair as if it were the most normal thing in the world for me to be here.

Arial look a little more bemused, she likes things a little more, how can I say it, arranged? This wasn’t what she would have wanted and her expression said so. “well, how was I supposed to know that I would spin out of control and land smack in the middle fairyland if I looked through that hole!?” She poked me in the shoulder then started to pace, stopping every few steps to tap her foot and shake her head. Gee, you’d think she was unhappy or something.

There was a high clear chime that sounded three times and four of those same tall graceful faeries entered through an arch in the wall that hadn’t been there a couple of minutes before. The wall had  just melted away. Behind them, in the Great Hall, sat the faerie queen, Orlaith. She was as tall as the four faeries by my side, which was odd, I had seen her just the other day and she was a tiny sparkling white faerie. I was confused.

We approached the throne where she sat and the four faeries left me and went to stand on either side of her chair (which was made of ice, of course). I looked around, the hall had filled with dozens of faeries of all sizes. They were all smiling, some were humming, but they all looked happy which was a relief. I thought I was in real trouble from the way Arial had been acting.

Arial landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear…”bow down!” I had completely forgot my manners! I held my arms wide open, and holding the small bowl of berries in my right hand, bowed my head and did my best courtesy. “Forgive me my bad manners Queen Orlaith I did not mean to offend the court of the frost faeries by coming here uninvited. ” I remembered the berries and held them forward, “I bring you a gift.”

The bowl dissolved in a spray of white light and appeared in Orlaith’s outstretched hand, her laugh echoed through the great hall like a million carillon bells. “Stand, Kind One. Our invitation to you is always open. You will always be welcomed in the court of the frost faeries, stand and be at peace!” I stood and was immediately surrounded by faeries of all sizes and colors laughing and pinching (is that something normal for them?) and giving light faerie kisses.

I ask Arial, who had taken up a proprietary spot on my shoulder, “how am I going to get home?” She smiled and shook her head. “What!? I can’t go home?” Orlaith came up behind me, took my hand and said: “you will stay with us this night, we will feast, and dance, and sing, in the faerie circle. There will be no talk of leaving now.” Orlaith  winked out in a flash of white light. “But….I need to go home, people will worry.”

I looked up at the frosty white dome of the great hall and wondered, What is Bill doing?….

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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Have you ever wondered what it was like for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Spinning around in the middle of a tornado and then falling out of the sky? Opening that door and stepping into a strange, beautiful new world? It was just like that, one minute I was peeking through the opening in the ivy, and the next, I was spinning around in a thick white mist.

I came to rest with a thump up against a gigantic old oak tree that was surrounded with ferns and dark green moss. As the mist cleared, I could see orchids of purple, white and pink, and clumps of yellow daisy bushes. There was a stream a little farther down the hill that wandered back and forth, cascading over smooth stones that were surrounded here and there with lady’s mantle. It ended in a small, heart shaped pond.

How can all of this be on the other side of my ivy hedge? I got up and turned around to look back through the ivy, but it wasn’t there. I stood there for a long time while thoughts raced through my head. How am I going to get back, I wonder if there’s anything  scary in the bushes, can I eat those strawberries!? Ok , don’t panic. I looked back around. Sunshine, birds chirping in the trees, butterflies around the daisies, this doesn’t look like a scary place and it for sure doesn’t look like what frost faeries would call home. I had imagined snow and ice and stuff.

Now what do I do? I thought that I would just peek through the ivy and see lots of little faeries flying around doing faerie stuff. Just ahead of me, down a narrow path surrounded by trees and covered with periwinkle and wild strawberry, came the sound of a high flute. Just a few notes, then silence. The tune had a come follow me feel to it, so I did….

I guess Bill is going to have to get his own dinner tonight (weird what kind of thoughts go through your head when you have no idea what you’re doing!) I followed that tune down the path and out into a meadow. I had to shade my eyes because the sunlight was so bright in contrast to the deep shade under the canopy of trees that I just just come from.

The meadow was covered in tall, soft, golden grass, that waved in the light breeze. Once my eyes became adjusted to the bright light I could see that across the field of grass, seeming to grow right out of the middle of the meadow, was a huge palace made entirely of ice. I can’t help but wonder how an ice palace could even exist in a place this tropical. I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

The light, sweet notes of the flute sounded again, this time with  more urgency. I roused myself out of the daze that had come over me and I started making my way toward the palace. About half way, a faerie that was almost as tall as me stepped out of the grass right in front of me. Her wings were at least four feet wide and had a frosty sheen, she was dressed in a white robe that was tied at the waist with a golden rope. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought that she was an angel. She smiled and placed a wreath of Jasmine on my head. It was tied with white and pink streamers that hung half way down my back, then she handed me a small bowl of berries. “This is a gift for the queen….come, come,… follow me.”…..

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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Waiting is hard for me…I know that there are changes coming but I don’t when, or what they will look like. Every year I look forward to spring but this spring is going to be different, I have sent off a note asking that Warren and Odette come to live in my garden this year. I made the decision to have the gnome couple come because I felt that my faeries would benefit from having a female gnome in the garden (Ferne had a lot to do with this thought).

Then there is not knowing when exactly the court of the Frost Faeries will be departing for points north. I felt some anxiety about having my faerie friends leaving but they must…they’re “frost” faeries, they can’t stay here in the summer, and they did mention their “sisters”.

I can say that my favorite faeries, you know, Sunny, Arial and the rest, are very excited about the move and it’s hard to be too sad in the face of all that joy and excitement. They were trying their best to tell me something the other day, but I’m still a little slow in learning how to communicate with them, so the only thing that I know for sure is that it will something wonderful to see. (from all that pointing and flitting about they did) I get the impression that it has something to do with rainbows…maybe?

Then, after the faerie court departs, can I  look through the opening in the ivy hedge? What if I get sucked into another world? I’ve heard of people stumbling across fairy rings while the faeries were in the midst of celebrating one thing or another, and never coming back. Still, I was told by their queen herself that I was considered one of them and that I would be welcomed into the circles.

Sunny has still been making her regular visits to the Hawthorne tree to gather berries but it has been less leisurely, more rushed, still, she always has the time to peep in the kitchen window and wave to me. She flips those glittery wings of hers, does a couple of mid-air somersaults , then darts back through the ivy.

Arial sits on a branch in the Laurel bushes keeping a look out for the Blue Jay that has been giving the girls trouble ever since Pip got stuck in the tree and I had to get her down. The only thing I can think of that would have got her into such a bind would be that she was trying to get away from the bird by buzzing around and around the branch and hadn’t noticed that her belt had come loose until it was to late and she was tightly knotted in the twigs.

Bella and Ferne have been poking around in the ivy at the bottom of one of the Hawthorne trees trying to make space for the garden gnomes when they get here (I think that they want them to get here before the faeries have to leave so that they can make  the proper introductions). I saw several faeries carrying one of my clay pots over to the ivy and pushing it down on top, hoping it will make a nice house.

I sit in the sunshine on the back porch and watch all of this activity. How wonderful it is to be co-existing with these magical creatures! Each being content with the others, going about our own business and helping each other if the need arises.

All of a sudden, Arial looks up and then takes off for the sky, the others stop what they are doing and quickly join her. That’s strange, I’ve never seen them do that before, I wonder what that’s all about? looking up I see the group of  faeries floating down, all holding onto a package that’s wrapped in smooth green cloth and tied with yellow ribbon, a package that was plummeting to earth and about to hit me squarely on the head.

I jump up and step to the side, but realize as I do that Arial and the rest of them were breaking the fall of the package by holding onto it and acting as a faerie parachute. They, and it, drifted gently to the ground. This looks much better than the last package I received. It was marked, “handle with care”.

Sunny, Arial and the rest watched as I carefully opened the package…..

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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Last night I woke up to a loud crash.  Sitting straight up in bed, I poked my hubby, “honey, honey wake up! Did you hear that?” Bill rolled over and propped himself up on one elbow, peered at me through a sleepy haze and mumbled, “what? I didn’t hear anything, maybe it was cats” then he immediately rolled over and within five seconds was peacefully snoring again. I looked at him, how does he do that? I wish I could fall asleep that fast!  I turned my thoughts back to the loud crash,there are cats that live around here and sometimes they can get rambunctious.

Just to be on the safe side, I grabbed my robe and tiptoed downstairs, funny, the dogs didn’t start barking like they normally do.  The house was dark with the exception of a little light coming in from the street lamp on the corner outside and the night light I leave on at the bottom the stairs so we can see down the hall.

I don’t know what I expected to see,  I looked around and started to move from room to room just to make sure there weren’t any bogey men. Everything looked just fine although it would be good if I could get the rest of the Christmas decorations down. The clock read five after 12:00. I was about to go back upstairs when I passed by the back door. I don’t know what it was that told me to look out, maybe it was just out of habit, or maybe it was the faint sound of rustling leaves that I heard, it doesn’t really matter because what I saw when I did look drove any thoughts of the “bogey man” out of my head altogether.

On the step leading down to the patio were four fairies. At first glance I thought they were mice but it turned out that they wore fuzzy little gowns with high collars and ruffles around the cuff’s. I looked a little harder and saw that the gowns glittered golden. Well of course, I chided myself, mice don’t sparkle, how silly of me! Their iridescent wings made a nice contrast to their robes. (Something to remember: fairy wings even sparkle at night)

They had pushed some flower pots off the step that had broken when they fell, spilling potting soil everywhere. Two more little fairies were in the process of picking up the smaller pieces of Terracotta and stacking them like plates in their arms. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what they were going to do with the pieces of broken pots, that is until I looked across the patio. Under the Laurel bushes was a line of fairies about, oh, I don’t know, five or six feet long. There must have been 30 fairies total. Some were holding little candles that they had melted to the pieces of flower pot, the rest were waiting to get their pieces so they could use them as candle holders.

I watched as the rest of the fairies got their candles ready, and when they were all lit, the group started to move in a rythmic way. They held the candles up over their heads and waved their arms back and forth as they made a circle, then when the circle was complete, they would take three steps in and three steps back. Some of them would jump into the air at random . If  it was spring I would swear that all those fairies dancing and jumping under the Laurels looked just like fireflies. I strained to listen, how cute! They were singing! If you weren’t watching this celebration you would think that it was the wind in the tree tops. It was a high whistling sound with a low humming coming in counter point.

I hadn’t known that there were so many fairies in my backyard.  There were even fairies bouncing up and down on the Laurel branches making the frozen leaves rustle. I couldn’t  help but wonder at how brave they were getting. First one, then four, and now the whole fairy neighborhood found my bushes.  Does that mean I’m on their “good” list!?  Smiling, I tiptoed back upstairs and climbed under the covers leaving my tiny friends to their celebration.

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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