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Wednesday, September 16, 2015
AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE WHEREABOUTS OF GNOMES AND ELVES, FAUNS AND FAERIES, GOBLINS, OGRES, TROLLS AND BOGIES, NYMPHS, SPRITES AND DRYADS, PAST AND PRESENT
by Buck Young
A long, long time ago, the Earth belonged to the creatures of the wood. By creatures of the wood I mean gnomes, elves, faeries, etc. They tended it and took care of it, played in it, danced and sang in it, cared for wounded animals, worked out disputes between species, sat on mushrooms discussing matters of importance and drinking Labrador tea, rode down streams on leaves and bark, parachuted from trees on dandelion seeds. This was the world into which mankind was born. These early days, when man was but a newly arrived dinner guest who hadn't yet taken over the house, are fairly well documented in the literature and folklore of the world, so there's no need to go into it here. What I am interested in, and what I am asking you to be interested in, is the question, "Where did all the gnomes, elves, faeries, etc. go?"
The friction between man and the wood creatures began with the discovery of agriculture. With this discovery civilization arose and spread. The forests were cleared to provide wood for shelters and fields for pastures and crops. Mankind had set up camp. No longer just a visitor in someone else's world, he pushed the wild back from his newly built doorstep. At first, this wasn't a problem. There weren't that many people and everyone else felt that it was only fair to allot them their own half-acre to do with as they wished. Some of them even decided to help out. Gnomes moved into the barn houses and helped with the gardening chores. The devic spirits of the vegetables helped humans better organize their crops and plan rotation; taught them the correlation between planetary and lunar cycles and the agricultural year. They taught them to plant radishes when the moon is in Cancer, harvest when the moon is in Taurus. Many trolls felt that the heaping piles of manure were a change for the better, and decided to stick around too.
The rest of the wood creatures just backed off into the wood, occasionally playing tricks on the new settlers, like turning the milk sour, rearranging furniture, tipping cows, tickling people's faces in their sleep and once in a while stealing babies and leaving bundles of wood in their place.
But man's dominion spread (and spread and spread and spread) and the forests got smaller and smaller and smaller. Things got real crowded in the woods, and things were getting worse in civilization. Most farmers weren't listening to the devic spirits anymore. People found they could increase their output by disregarding the needs of the earth. They were raising productivity and killing the soil. Petrochemicals were just a step away. Most of the devic spirits and gnomes fled. The trolls stayed. Today, they live mostly under bridges and in the shallow mucky ditches beneath the metal grating on farm roads that cows are afraid to cross. Be sure to honk your horn before driving over one of these. A troll may be hanging from the grate, swinging over its living room, as they are apt to do after rolling in muck and manure. If you don't give a warning honk, you may run over its fingers, and it's not a great idea to get either your name or your license plate number on a troll's shite list.
Now, there is little wild land left at all, and even that is shrinking at an unprecedented rate. There is simply not enough wild space for all the gnomes and elves, fauns and faeries, goblins, ogres, trolls and bogies, nymphs, sprites, and dryads.
So where are they?
Are they dead?
So, where did they go?
The answer is a bit surprising. They didn't go anywhere. We did. Early humans had an intuitive knowledge of their role in nature, just as bears and raccoons and mice and every other critter does. They understood, from the ways of the wild around them, that nothing ever comes from nowhere and nothing ever just disappears. Things change form. Death is necessary for life to continue. They offered up their kills as sacrifices to the gods of nature. They offered praise, prayer, sacrifice and song to the spirits of the wild, to brother buffalo, brother deer, and brother tree.
Now we know that everything that ever existed continues to exist, in one form or another, and as far as we can tell, they were more aware of that back then than we are now. So, the sacrifice, song and prayer did not ensure the immortality of the slaughtered, either in body or spirit. That was already taken care of. What it did ensure was the continuance of the connection between the spirit of the slaughterer and the spirit of the slaughtered. Killing is risky business. The membrane separating the internal from the external is not necessarily as thick or as clearly defined as we have come to believe. Every time we kill, we risk killing the reality of that thing inside ourselves as well as outside. We risk breaking the connections that lead in and out of the membrane. Taking a life to feed life requires a keen understanding of the natural law of give and take. When we lost that understanding, gave up the songs, the sacrifice, the prayers, we lost the connection. Saying grace is not enough.
When we lose those connections, everything becomes dead - fish, rivers, frogs, mice, even each other. There is no way they can reach inside us any more. The five senses we are left with are not enough. We have given up those connections in exchange for the freedom to clear-cut forests with skidders, turn cows into milk machines and chickens into egg factories. We can experiment with animals, club seals, wear fur, and exterminate entire species. Not a twinge of guilt. The lines have been severed.
And we are all under the impression that it is the forests, the creatures, the spirits and the wild lands that are disappearing from the universe and not us. This is not so. Thinking like that is like thinking that if you stand on the end of a limb and saw that limb from the tree, that the tree will fall and you will remain standing. Bugs Bunny might be able to get away with that, but we can't.
It is we who have fallen away from the real world into a world where we may carry out our twisted sterile dreams without threatening the earth and its inhabitants. Ever wonder why the trees, stones, rivers and streams, birds, bears, frogs and snakes no longer talk to us as they did in the early tales of Native America, the Hindu, the Africans, the bible? It's because we're not around to talk to anymore. Every clear-cut, every vivisection, every mechanized slaughter of cow, pig or chicken moves our dream world further and further from the tree, making a reunification, which is still possible, more and more difficult.
Somewhere not so far from here, in the real world, the ancient forests are still standing, the buffalo roams the prairies, the sky is full of condors, the deer and the antelope play, and dodo birds still wander the sandy beaches, bumping into things.
Where there are still wild lands in our dream world, strong connections still exist. Bridges, tunnels, portals. Occasionally a traveler will get lost in the wilderness and find himself in the real world, returning the next day to find that a hundred years have passed, or never returning at all.
There are more ephemeral connections as well - brooks and waterfalls where you can still here voices from the other side, if you listen carefully enough... When they sit by these waters, they hear loud clanking and screams. When they eat magic mushrooms, everything STOPS glowing and condos rise where forests stand. Our children can see their world in their dreams. Their children see our world in the nightmares.
And there is another connection. Sometimes agents from the other side infiltrate our world in an attempt to expedite reunification. Believe it or not, they miss us over there. Sometimes - more often than you might think - they send souls over to our world to be born as human babies. There are quite a lot of them actually - gnomes, elves, faeries, sprites, etc. running around in human bodies, doing crazy things like writing on walls, working in co-ops, running inns in the mountains, talking to themselves in the streets, making pottery, practicing witchcraft. They are planting biodynamic gardens, sitting in the back yard naked, arguing with satan. They are in asylums pumped full of Thorazine, in a classroom on Ritalin and lithium. They live with Indians. They run recycling centers. They are starting revolutions, corrupting the young, inventing paranoid conspiracy theories, making up religions. They're directing movies, gobbling acid, drinking heavily and writing poetry.
The transition from their world to ours is not an easy one. It's not easy on the soul and much is lost. They may have no idea who or what they are at first. They may or may not find out. They WILL know they are not like other people. They will know that this world is not theirs. They will faintly remember something better, where things made sense and worked like they ought to, where love and magic had the power to heal.
They will know what makes other people happy does not make them happy, and that what makes them happy makes them happier than anyone else alive.
They will see things others cannot see, hear things others cannot hear, feel things others cannot feel, and know things others do not know.
They will laugh a great deal or cry a great deal or both.
They will love humans individually, but have a hard time with humanity as whole, and that will occasionally approach loathing.
They will have a handful of very close friends, and often be very lonely.
They will be unhappiest when forced to act like a human and do things that humans do, want what humans want, or when they are convinced that they actually are one.
Things will not be easy for them. Because of their memories of the other side, the world will seem to them a wondrous calliope with just a few teeth missing on one of the cogs. Because of this tiny deficiency, the music is off key, the horses are crashing into each other and the children are frightened, bruised and crying.
The solutions will seem obvious, but no one will listen.
They will repeatedly be punished for shouting FIRE! in a crowded theatre, when the buildings really are in flames but no one else can see....They will get slapped on the wrist for pointing to the EXIT signs when everyone else is running around screaming and trampling one another.
They will be zealous, fanatical and didactic in their beliefs. They will feel utterly confused.
They will have ecstatic visions and babble incoherently. They will be extremely articulate.
They are prone to long periods of silence. They have no idea how to say what they really mean.
They spend a lot of time with children and animals.
They will become drunkards and dope fiends, organic gardeners, soap makers, carpenters, madmen, magicians, jugglers and clowns, lunatic physicists, painter and scribblers, travelers and wanderers...
They will dress in bright colors, frumpy sweaters or all black.
They will smoke too much and drink too much. They will eat only macrobiotic foods. They will develop addictions to Mountain Dew.
They will often be accused of living in their own fantasy world.
They will make great lovers. Yeah, even the trolls.
They will spend too much time either making love or thinking about it.
They will speak to inanimate objects. They will have much brighter eyes than everyone else. They will expect their magic to work in this world and their love to heal, and will be crushed by this world, and often won't expect it.
It will come close to killing them.
They will visit the places where the connections still exist: the waterfalls, the mountains, the oceans, and the forests. They will draw on all the power they have, and sometimes, sometimes, the magic will work. And everything will be wondrously easy. The teeth will grow back on the cog on the calliope, the tune will right itself, the horses will bob gracefully up and down, around and around, and the children will giggle and sing with cotton candy stuck to their cheeks and noses.
They will spend their days trying to reconnect a branch that millions are busy sawing away at. Often it will be more than they can bear.
While the rest of humanity is busy working on new and more efficient ways to lay waste to the Earth with the push of a button, they are saving it. A handful at a time.
They will share a common conviction that they are the only sane individuals in a world gone mad.
They are right.
© 2004 Buck Young
by Buck Young
Monday, May 25, 2015
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
By Kili’s Runestone
Me staring back was your very first sight,
When you opened your eyes that night.
You learned to crawl as I learned to walk,
You learned to eat as I learned to talk.
Your very first word was my own name,
The best of friends is what we became.
Thorin gave us wood shields and swords,
He told us stories of dragons and hoards,
We dreamt of adventure, we played pretend,
If I was an orc, your play bow you’d bend,
If you were an orc, I’d slash my sword,
We were together, we were never bored.
We’d spin long tales of glory and gold,
We talked of what we’d do when old,
We talked of treasure, of battles we’d fight,
We talked of fame, of strength, of might,
We soon were men, though quite young,
Still we dreamt, when songs were sung,
Of winning the war, of quenched dragon fire,
And when we journeyed out to the Shire,
We followed our leader, our captain, our king.
We went merry, many a song we’d sing,
We raced our ponies, we gazed at stars,
We escaped together, from Thranduil’s bars.
I worried over you, but we had best of fun,
Sometimes we rode, sometimes we’d run,
We always sang, told tales of treasure,
We braided hair, our beards we’d measure,
We grew more solemn as the dragon drew near,
But we grew not afraid, we did not feel fear,
Thorin was our leader, and Bilbo had a ring,
We were Durin’s sons, we did not fear a thing.
But when Thorin descended to madness,
And I saw in your eyes pain and sadness,
When innumerable ranks, we charged,
When through shield and spear we barged,
When the sword smote through my breast,
When the lance struck through your chest,
When bleeding I fell into the cold dark mud,
Tried to scream but what came was only blood,
You stumbled towards me but could not stand,
You crawled to me, I reached for your hand,
We cried together and thought sadly of old,
We had thought battles were all glory and gold,
You shuddered and asked if you were dying,
I said no, though we both knew I was lying,
I said you should sleep, I’ll sing you a song,
I sang to you of far away caves, of rivers long,
I sang to you of mother, of laughter and love,
I sang to you of the Arkenstone stars above.
Blood poured from my mouth as I whispered to you,
Your beautiful face began to take a grey hue,
We held each other, you whispered good bye,
I remembered when you said you’d never die.
Your eyes fluttered closed, you breathed your last,
I told you I loved you, remembered days long past,
We were children who didn’t know fear,
I closed my eyes and drew you near,
And then in the bloodied evening grey,
I dropped your hand and slipped away.
~~ * ~~
The Battle of the Pelennor
In front of the City
The orcs show no pity.
While women are weeping
In death, men are sleeping.
The battle was almost lost:
Great was the orcs’ grim cost.
When horns commenced to ring,
And the Horse-lords began to sing.
Forward they charged and fast,
And though their army was not vast,
They slew the Enemy and sang
As sword on shield began to clang.
Yet it was going very ill:
Men of Harad came to kill.
The King fought well, but soon was slain
Upon that blood-red, grassy plain.
But upon the dawn of newborn day,
When sun in her lonely rest still lay,
There came upon the blood-stained river
The Dead that caused all men to shiver.
Wielding shining swords they ran,
As seasoned warriors only can.
Dismayed, the orcs threw down their shields,
Ending the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
~~ * ~~
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own best friend.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 am, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's, 60's & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
I will walk the beach in a swimsuit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, bottom line is, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).
MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!
Saturday, March 14, 2015
I HAVE FOUND IN MY LIFE THAT YOU CAN NOT BE BRAVE WITHOUT FEAR , YOUR MOST COURAGOUS TIMES COME FROM YOUR MOST FEARFUL TIMES.
YOU GROW THE MOST WHEN YOU FACE YOUR FEARS AND CHOOSE TO DO WHAT YOU NEED TO IN SPITE OF THEM, SO IT IS MY CONTENTION THAT YOU FIND YOUR MOST POWER WHEN YOU NEED TO MOVE ON NO MATTER WHAT YOU MIGHT NEED TO DO OR WHERE YOU NEED TO GO TO DO IT.
I HAVE HAD THE MOST AMAZING CHANGES IN MY LIFE FACING MY FEARS AND DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THEM INSTEAD OF TRYING TO IGNORE THEM . TO ME THE FEARS IN MY LIFE HAVE ALSO BEEN MY LARGEST MOTIVATERS
Saturday, January 3, 2015
There comes a time in your life when you finally get it ... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out "ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on." And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective.
..........This is your awakening.
You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something or someone to change, or for happiness safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that there aren't always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you. Then a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
So you begin making your way through the "reality of today" rather than holding out for the "promise of tomorrow." You realize that much of who you are and the way you navigate through life is, in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you've received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift through all the nonsense you were taught about :
- how you should look and how much you should weigh,
- what you should wear and where you should shop,
- where you should live or what type of car you should drive,
- who you should sleep with and how you should behave,
- who you should marry and why you should stay,
- the importance of bearing children or what you owe your family,
Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin re-assessing and re-defining who you are and what you really believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown, or should never have practiced to begin with.
You accept the fact that you are not perfect ,and that not everyone will love appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK... they are entitled to their own views and opinions. And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a "perfect 10".... Or a perfect human being for that matter... and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head or agonizing over how you compare. And, you take a long look at yourself in the mirror and you make a promise to give yourself the same unconditional love and support you give so freely to others. Then a sense of confidence is born of self-approval.
And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" hungry for your next fix, a new dress, another pair of shoes or looks of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who pass by. Then you discover that it is truly in "giving" that we receive, and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of the giving. And you recognize the importance of "creating" and "contributing" rather than "obtaining" and "accumulating."
And you give thanks for the simple things you've been blessed with, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about - a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, the freedom of choice and the opportunity to pursue your own dreams.
And you begin to love and to care for yourself. You stop engaging in self-destructive behaviors, including participating in dysfunctional relationships. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and exercising. And because you've learned that fatigue drains the spirit and creates doubt and fear, you give yourself permission to rest. And just as food is fuel for the body, laughter is fuel for the spirit and so you make it a point to create time for play.
Then you learn about love and relationships - how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, intentionally or unintentionally, and that not everyone will always come through... and interestingly enough, it's not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done to you or weren't done for you. And you learn to keep your Ego in check and to acknowledge and redirect the destructive emotions it spawns - anger, jealousy and resentment.
You learn how to say "I was wrong" and to forgive people for their own human frailties. You learn to build bridges instead of walls and about the healing power of love as it is expressed through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture. And, at the same time, you eliminate any relationships that are hurtful or fail to uplift and edify you. You stop working so hard at smoothing things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want or expect certain things. And you learn the importance of communicating your needs with confidence and grace. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to Say NO. You learn that you don't know all the answers, it's not your job to save the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.
Moreover, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as you would want them to be, and you are careful not to project your neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and relationships, and that that not everyone can always love you the way you would want them to. So you stop appraising your worth by the measure of love you are given. And suddenly you realize that it's wrong to demand that someone live their life or sacrifice their dreams just to serve your needs, ease your insecurities, or meet "your" standards and expectations. You learn that the only love worth giving and receiving is the love that is given freely without conditions or limitations. And you learn what it means to love. So you stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that "alone" does not mean "lonely" and you begin to discover the joy of spending time "with yourself" and "on yourself." Then you discover the greatest and most fulfilling love you will ever know - Self Love. And so it comes to pass that, through understanding, your heart heals; and now all new things are possible.
Moving along, you begin to avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends. You learn that talk doesn't change things and that unrequited wishes can only serve to keep you trapped in the past. So you stop lamenting over what could or should have been and you make a decision to leave the past behind. Then you begin to invest your time and energy to affect positive change. You take a personal inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses and the areas you need to improve in order to move ahead, you set your goals and map out a plan of action to see things through.
You learn that life isn't always fair and you don't always get what you think you deserve, and you stop personalizing every loss or disappointment. You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that these things are not an act of God... but merely a random act of fate.
And you stop looking for guarantees, because you've learned that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected and that whatever happens, you'll learn to deal with it. And you learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time - FEAR itself. So you learn to step right into and through your fears, because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.
Then, YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY... the personal power and independence it brings and the options it creates. And you recognize the necessity to create your own personal wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And a sense of power is born of self-reliance. And you live with honor and integrity because you know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what beauty there is in Simplicity.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you TAKE a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
A word about the Power of Prayer: In some of my darkest, most painful and frightening hours, I have prayed, not for the answers to my prayers or for material things, but for my "God" to help me find the strength, confidence and courage to persevere; to face each day and to do what I must do.
Remember this:- You are an expression of the almighty. The spirit of God resides within you and moves through you. Open your heart, speak to that spirit and it will heal and empower you.
My "God" has never failed me.
Copyright © 2001 Sonny Carroll. All Rights Reserved
Reprinted here with permission
Introduction to The Awakening by Sonny Carroll
I actually began writing this piece in 1996 shortly after coming out of a long drawn out and painful break-up. I was a total mess. My life was in shambles and as I tried to make some sense of what had happened, and why, I began to write The Awakening. This piece is a compilation of all the lessons I learned and the observations I made about myself, about other people and their relationships, and of the wisdom that my most dear friend, Drane Uljaj, has shared with me over countless cups of tea.
2007 Note for those trying to contact Sonny Carroll:
Her website, Wake To Life (www waketolife com) is now no longer in existence and she is not contactable.
Monday, December 22, 2014
The Yule Faeries - A Winter Solstice Story
A group of little Faeries huddled in their home deep under the roots of a giant oak tree. They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave lined with dandelion fluff, bird feathers, and dried moss.
Outside, the wind blew cold and the snow fell softly down to cover the ground. "I saw the Sun King today," the faerie named Rose said as she pulled her mossy cloak tighter about her. "He looked so old and tired as he walked off through the forest. What is wrong with him? The great oak said he's dying" answered Daffodil. Dying? Oh, what will we do now?" Little Meadow Grass started to cry "If the sun King dies, our little plant friends will not grow. The Birds will not come and sing again. Everything will be winter for ever!" Lilac, Dandelion and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, but they were all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the tiny door.
"Open up, Faeries," called out a loud voice. "Why are you hiding instead of joining us in our Solstice celebration?" Rose opened the door and the little gnome Brown Knobby pushed inside, shaking the glistening snowflakes off his brown coat and hat.
"We are too sad to celebrate," Daffodil said wiping her eyes, "the Sun King is dying, haven't you heard?"
"He is dead you silly Faeries." Brown Knobby's round dark eyes sparkled with laughter. "now hurry, or we'll be late for the celebration!"
"How can you be happy and laughing?!" Elder Blossom stamped her little foot and frowned at the gnome. "If the Sun King IS dead, it will be winter always. We will never see the Sun again!"
"Silly little child-Faeries." Brown Knobby grabbed Dandelion by the hand and pulled her to her feet. "There is a secret to the Winter Solstice. Don't you want to know what it is?"
The Faeries looked at him in surprise. "Secret?" they all said. "What secret? We are only new little Faeries, you silly gnome. We've never been to a Solstice celebration before."
"Come and see. Come and see. Get your capes and come with me." Brown Knobby danced and jigged around the room. "Hurry, Hurry, don't be slow! To the sacred oak grove through the snow!"
He danced out of the door and disappeared.
"What did that gnome mean?" Rose asked as she gathered up her cloak of dried rose petals held together with cobwebs and lined with goose down.
"I don't know, but the Lady lives in the sacred grove." Meadow Grass pulled on her hat.
"Perhaps if we go to see the Goddess, She can explain what Brown Knobby was talking about".
The Faeries left their snug little home and trudged off through the snow toward the sacred oak grove. The forest was dark with only the light of the Moon shining down through the thick fir branches and bare limbs of maple and hawthorn. It was very difficult for them to get through the snow because they were very, very small. As they waded through the wet snow and shivered in the cold wind, they met a fox.
"Where are you going, Faeries?" the fox asked.
,BR. "To the sacred grove," they answered, they were cold and shivering.
"Climb on my back and I will take you there swiftly."
The fox knelt down so the Faeries could climb up. Then he raced off through the dark.
"Listen!" Lilac said as they neared the grove of sacred trees. "Someone is singing happy songs. A LOT of someones."
The beautiful music carried over the cold, still, moonlit air. It was the most beautiful music the Faeries had ever heard. The fox carried the Faeries right to the edge of the stone altar in the center of the grove, then knelt down.
"Look!" said Elder Blossom as they slid to the snow covered ground. "There is the Maiden and the Mother and the OLD Wise One, And many other Little People."
"They are all smiling and happy," said Lilac as she looked around at all the creatures.
"All the animals are here too," whispered Dandelion. "why are they all looking at the Mother?"
The Faeries moved closer to the three Ladies seated on the altar stone. The Mother held a bundle close in Her arms, smiling down at it. The Maiden reached down and took the Faeries gently in her Hands. She held them close to the Mother so they could see what She held.
"A Baby!" the Faeries cried. " A new little Baby! Look how he glows!"
"He is the newborn Sun King," said the Maiden smiling.
"But Brown Knobby and the old oak tree said the Sun King was dead," the Faeries answered her. "How can this little baby be the Sun King?"
"That is the secret of the Winter Solstice." The Old Wise One touched the baby's cheek with her wrinkled hand. "Every year the Sun King must come to the sacred grove during the darkest days of winter where he dies. I take his spirit to the Mother who gives him new life again. This is the way for all creatures, not just the Sun King."
" You mean everything lives and dies and lives again? the Faeries looked down in wonder at the baby Sun King, nestled in the arms of the Mother.
" Yes Little Ones," answered the Old Wise One. "There is never an end to life. This is the great mystical secret of the Winter Solstice."
The Faeries laughed because they were so happy.
"I think the little Sun King should have gifts," said Rose. "I will show him where the wild roses bloom in the early summer."
"And, I will teach him to call the birds and listen to the songs of the wind," exclaimed Dandelion. br>
"When he is older and stronger, " said the Mother, "then the flowers will bloom at his touch, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the air will be warm from his breath, and winter will be gone for a time. Then the Sun King will run and play with you in the forest."
The little Faeries sang to the Baby Sun King, songs of the coming spring, the sweet smelling flowers, the bumbling bees, and all the secrets of the forest. And all the creatures within the sacred grove sang with them. Then the fox took them back to their snug home under the roots of the giant oak tree where they dreamed wonderful dreams, waiting for the warmth of spring and the fun they would have with the little Sun King