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Faeries in the garden

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"These Siths or Fairies they call Sleagh Maith or the Good People...are said to be of middle nature between Man and Angel, as were Daemons thought to be of old; of intelligent fluidous Spirits, and light changeable bodies (lyke those called Astral) somewhat of the nature of a condensed cloud, and best seen in twilight. These bodies be so pliable through the sublety of Spirits that agitate them, that they can make them appear or disappear at pleasure."

- from The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, by Reverend Robert Kirk, Minister of the Parish of Aberfoyle, Stirling, Scotland, 1691
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Are faeries real? Some say not -- yet some can not imagine a garden without them.

Tiny footprints in my garden glow
Dust left from tiny slippered feet
Flowers bloom and cheerfully grow
By mossy paths where they meet

When the moon shines brightly
I sit quite still and listen
Sounds of giggles oh so lightly
Float up to petals and glisten

The early morning sees bright dew
On flower petals that gently sway
The giggles settle and turn blue
Like drops of diamonds for my day
- PDBurns, 2013

Faeries are magical, sometimes ethereal, little sprites that live in enchanted gardens and woodlands. These are the harmless little spirits that love life and all pretty things in it. They romp, fly around cheerfully, giggle at just about everything, and leave a trail of glowing dust wherever they have been.

There are other types of faeries, such as Morgan le Fay the sorceress in the Arthurian legends. These are the faeries of Avalon and are difficult to distinguish from humans. Then there are the goblins, gnomes, and other such creatures that are best left alone.

The faeries of gardens are delightful, shy, and very playful. Flowers, and all that grows in the gardens, are sacred to them and they use them wisely. Acorns that fall from the old Oak are carefully carved into tiny containers for treasures, their tops becoming caps for the faeries. Or flower petals may become the adornment, a pixie style cap, to place on their head.

Wreaths of small blossoms and leaves are worn for special occasions. Maybe a butterfly will offer to perch on the wreath to look like an elegant bow. Small vines are braided into golden tresses. Leaves become dresses. Sometimes flower petals are gently pressed, stretched and woven into gossamer-like fabrics for beautiful gowns that compliment the wreaths.

These are the faeries of dreams -- the kind we wish were truly in our gardens. There are some tales of faeries who are so intrigued with human children that they love to beguile them into the world of faeries. William Butler Yeats wrote of such faeries "The Stolen Child", his poem. These faeries see that the child is unhappy in the world he lives in, for there is too much sorrow and too many tears. It is not a world the child should be in -- a child deserves joy and happiness, beauty and love. Seeing he does not have any of those things, the Fae entice him to come into a world that is full of all he needs to make him happy -- a place he will understand.

The Stolen Child
"Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats.
There we've hid our fairy vats
Full of berries,
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than
you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by farthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands, and mingling glances,
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap,
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away! O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than
you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes,
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout,
And whispering in their ears;
We give them evil dreams,
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Of dew on the young streams.
Come! O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping then
you can understand.

Away with us, he's going,
The solemn-eyed;
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hill-side.
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast;
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than
he can understand."

- William Butler Yeats

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