Have you ever stumbled into a place and felt that you had somehow found the gateway to the sort of realm in which legends are born? I am mostly a rational creature, I don’t tend to give my imagination free reign at all times, because I realize and appreciate that doing so can lead people down a one-way path to insanity. Balance is important, and when you tip the scale too far, you falter. However, it is possible to tip the scale too far into the rational, thereby cutting off the creativity that leads people down the path to discovery.
I am generally not an outdoor person. Between allergies, caffeine dependency, and the passionate embrace of a climate-controlled environment complete with flushing toilets, (though I have to confess a childhood fear of the last… more on that another day…) I don’t like to camp. Or rather, I don’t like to backpack. Camping is okay, as long as you can drive right up to the site, dump the stuff and set up quickly, and have access to facilities within an easy walking distance. There is nothing romantic about digging a hole to crap.
That said, I do love a good walk or hike through the woods or mountains, and I have even been known to risk mosquitoes, ticks, and the phobia of things like Lyme Disease to explore places of natural beauty. I have an affinity for trees, especially, in case nobody has noticed yet.
There are trails in the woods not far from my parents’ house that I have often wandered through, sometimes even daring to climb fences that I shouldn’t be climbing (I can say this because the statute of limitations for trespassing has expired…)
Walks tend to clear my head, and at the same time fill it with possibilities. What if, for instance, the folklore and fairy tales that we grew up with were based on beings that existed at one time? What if there is a doorway to some other dimension that has since closed for us?
I love the skeletons of trees. It is easy to believe, when looking at the shapes of these creatures that seem to reach from their immobile place on earth, that they have souls, that they are conscious in some way and on some level. The very fact that they often live for centuries, surviving the comings and goings of generations of people, is enough to give pause to everything they experience while being rooted in space.
On my walks through the woods, I would often stumble into clearings that could be described as tree-graveyards. There is something other-worldly about walking through woods and suddenly finding an open clearing. I often imagine that these places are the gathering halls of the Fey, who are too quick and clever to be caught unless they choose to reveal themselves. It doesn’t stop me from searching for them.
Sometimes it is that bristle on the back of your neck, that feeling that you are watched, or that flash of motion in the corner of your eye… Yes, when you look again, it turns out to be nothing more than a dragonfly.
Then again, sometimes a dragonfly is magical in its own right.