Saturday, 2 September 2017

Mamma Blackberry's first Autumn walk with her children

  Stepping neatly from between the brambles down the little hidden pathway from fairyland, comes Mamma Blackberry and her three dear children. 

They are here to welcome Autumn time as they take a little stroll humming harvest songs on a crisp bright morning. 

The baby sits up against a pillow in her beautiful pram, while the little girl carries her new satchel with pride, walking along with her mother and then forgetting all about her secret plan of being all-grown-up and running up and down the bramble hedge instead, balancing and playing chase with her brother.
Soon Mamma Blackberry pauses and lifts her baby for kisses, 
  She gathers her children around her to look together at the changing colours. Perhaps she tells them a little story, and shares some praise-full words about each of them, causing their eyes to shine brighter and  letting them love each other even a little bit more, and notice anew all the tiny treasures of the earth.
 
Then the children play, making a den amongst the biggest bramble leaves.
  
And while the baby gets ready for her nap....
The older children day dream a little into the warming midday air wondering what this new season will bring.



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Apprentice Puppeteer


There is an ancient winding trail that gleams o’re fairyland. It is not laid in stone or tar or even from long trodden earth and leaves. This way is made of wisps of mist, layered think and thin enough to forget journey’s toil and drift within.

For almost all of each hour and day and for nearly the full turning of the year, a cart and unicorn travel this wayward road. Sometimes a faint or louder hoof fall can be heart and sometimes it may simply be imagined that the travelers glide.
It would be foolish to hope to see them as you went about your busy day ordinarily, but if you gaze for long moments through the shimmer around the sun-kissed petals of a rose, or breath the morning dew blessed air with your eyes half closed….then, who knows.

Children of fairykin or human kind, and older folk who know how to stretch still seconds, are often lucky enough to see the pathway in the distance. And to remember that, there, to the rhythm of clippety clop, and turning wheels, is where wishes dance and tangle with story and what might be.

Perched high upon the cart’s hollowed bark seat, from which wild sweet strawberries tumble and climb, and looking out over and past the horizon where the unicorn’s horn pricks new stars into the sky, rests the Apprentice Puppeteer.

This ageless being is not apprentice by the usual human understanding of the word, but apprentice in all humility to the stories of worlds, never presuming to know what will unfold.


Once in a while, at times that are not most times, or when a story needs to be told, or when a being needs to be held and rocked by marvel, the cart pulls into a clearing, into a pause, or a bubble of glistening air. And all around little announcements and invitations can suddenly be found.



And whispers fill the air…. The Puppeteer is here, the theater cart has come, stories of tenderness and glory will be shown and told, gather gather young and old!

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Once upon a time the puppeteer wove a story for the little pussycat blue who had no home in a busy dark town and who weary and hungry one long night had slipped and dipped his paw hopefully into milky mist, and there found the answering longing of a flowering fairy girl in need a galavanting furry friend.



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Once upon a time the puppeteer lent her hand to the wind who was unknotting a mother’s wash basket of worries, teasing each care free and tossing it up to float away in the arms of the dancing trees.                
This story when it was told, began at dawn with the twitter of early rising birds and babes...



....and continued all day,
 moving through the magic cart's theater windows as evening came and settled into night.



And then that story went to sleep with the Apprentice Puppeteer and hummed and danced with the other stories that were sighing themselves into her dreams.




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Often it is the children who bring stories that want to be told
and they delight in sharing the telling of these stories


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And always the puppet show is brought to a close with the story or the young girl, who was born in fairyland, but gave her wings to an old lady who needed them where she was going, and received in thanks from the stars, the possibility to hear and tell stories, and guardianship of the gleaming pathway,

The story tells of the unicorn who heard her loneliness one day, when she felt sad that she could no longer fly, and helped her and kept her company...

and of this story tells of the heart that grew on her back, just gently where her wings had once been.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Maiden of the May


This Maiden of the Maytime was inspired by the joyful Mayfair that happens close to where I live. There I watched my daughters make flower crowns and join in the Maypole dancing, and also pick  little gifts from the skirts of the pocket lady. This Fairy Queen of May offers her skirt pockets to nestle fairyland's young ones as they blossom into their dance of rainbows. 

I have gathered a few poems to weave amongst the pictures, and as inspiration and resource for Maytime celebrations.

In May I go a-walking to hear the linnet sing,
The blackbird and the throstle, a-praising everything,
It cheers the heart to hear them, to see the leaves unfold,
And the meadows scattered over with buttercups of gold.
- a song my mother sang to me and I to my children
The fair maid who, the first of May 
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.
- Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme
"What is now the foliage moving? 
Air is still, and hush'd the breeze,
Sultriness, this fullness loving, 
Through the thicket, from the trees.
Now the eye at once gleams brightly, 
See! the infant band with mirth
Moves and dances nimbly, lightly,
As the morning gave it birth, 
Flutt'ring two and two o'er earth."
- Wolfgang Goethe, May 815
But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen o' the May.
-  Alfred Lord Tennyson, from The May Queen, 

Oh! that we two were Maying 
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing,
In the shade of the whispering trees.
- Charles Kingsley
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves; 
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
- John Keats
"Winter is many months of the year
But now at last Maytime is here;
And birds sing from a leafy screen
In the trees and hedgerow freshly green;
And the wood-anemone is out in the shade,
With its blushing petals which too soon fade;
Once more the bracken is unfurling there,
And bluebells gently perfume the damp air."
-  Veronica Ann Twells, Maytime
MAY! queen of blossoms, 
And fulfilling flowers, 
With what pretty music 
Shall we charm the hours? 
Wilt thou have pipe and reed, 5 
Blown in the open mead? 
Or to the lute give heed 
In the green bowers? 

Thou hast no need of us, 
Or pipe or wire; 10 
Thou hast the golden bee 
Ripen'd with fire; 
And many thousand more 
Songsters, that thee adore, 
Filling earth's grassy floor 15 
With new desire. 

Thou hast thy mighty herds, 
Tame and free-livers; 
Doubt not, thy music too 
In the deep rivers; 20 
And the whole plumy flight 
Warbling the day and night— 
Up at the gates of light, 
See, the lark quivers!

- Edward Thurlow, May
- Here’s a branch of snowy may,
A branch the fairies gave me.
Who would like to dance today
With the branch the fairies gave me?

Dance away, dance away.
Holding high the branch of may.

Dance away, dance away.
Holding high the branch of may
-from Waldorf school Maypole celebrations
Red, yellow, green and blue
Dancing ribbons weave with you.
Round the maypole, dance and skip
Under, over, lift and dip.
Flowers, garlands, May Day clothes
Coloured ribbons, dainty bows.
Yellow, red, blue and green
The brightest maypole you have seen!
 - Brenda Williams Colourful Maypole

Tiptoe around the fairy ring
Posies and bluebells, scattering
Songs of the wee folk we will sing
Laughter and dancing, what we bring.

Cross tightrope web with arms flung wide
Mice and butterflies, seek and hide
Windflowers standing tall with pride
Buttercups nestled by their side.

Whispering trees play flute in breeze
Courtly toads bow from bended knees
Dragonflies waltz with practiced ease
Through open doors that need not keys.

All the kinfolk gather now
To share in evergreen’s cacao
And join in solstice chanting sough
To sip sweet nectar, cupped in bough

Voices raised in tender descant
The tallest stag to smallest ant
To praise for blessing’s dear regrant
For ev’ry being, life and plant

Daffodil chariots parade
With rainbow maypoles in the glade
Fairy children in clear ponds wade
Entranced with kingdom, fairy-made

- J.C. Edwards, Fairy Children