River Mist Tales: The Deer

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

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deerJ_cwm

The Deer

On the third night in her new home, Ellie walked into the backyard as the day slipped into night, and watched the moon rise, silver and illuminating.

The tree shadows were deep, the darkest of blue black, tinged with a ghostly silver halo.

All the brilliant colors of the day faded into shades of gray, silver and endless blacks, touched by cold pale blues.

A soft breeze stirred the leaves, rubbing branch against branch, mostly empty twig against twig.

Looking back towards the large deck, the long row of windows, Ellie caught a glimpse of herself, and someone else too.

Starring hard at the darkened glass, Ellie thought she saw a woman, a tawny woman with long chestnut hair, wearing a layered gown, color drained, ruffled by the breeze as if made of leaves.

But when she turned, looking where the woman should be standing, Ellie saw only a shy, slow moving deer.

Shaking her head, she decided the reflected light, the smiling moon, the trees, the unfamiliar surroundings were conspiring, fooling her eye, enraging her imagination.

Breathing in the night scent of her secretive backyard, Ellie gave a brief prayer of thanks, and walked back inside the unlit cottage.

On the fourth night, again as the day slipped into the night, the sun’s last bright light forceful as it dipped low, a doe appeared at the back edge of the yard, standing in full relief, afront the tall line of night filled evergreens.

Ellie stepped through the door onto the deck, stood still, slowly she turned to face the cottage, keeping her back to the deer, watching the doe’s reflection in the windows, watching the reflection as the doe walked across the back yard, until the reflection stopped and the doe raised her head, looking towards the cottage, towards Ellie.

The night pulled down her veil, the reflections becoming soft and unfocused, angling herself for a better view, when her eyes returned to the window, instead of the deer, Ellie saw the tawny woman once more reflected in the the darkened glass, and moving with graceful step towards the cottage.

 

River Mist Tales: Lake Mist

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

laketree_cwm

Lake Mist

November 21st will the be the tenth anniversary of two disappearances, the first is Fintan, who is missed, and the second, Terrell, who is not.

Fern arrives a few days early, making allowances for weather conditions and the phase of the moon.

There is a routine Fern follows, a ritual of activities Fintan created, activities which must be adhered to with exacting precision.

It is not only the weather, the air temperature, the cloud coverage, the fog which Fern monitors, there is the lunar complication, and the whimsical nature of the hunt itself.

This year, the tenth year, is proving particularly hopeful.

It’s late afternoon and the tree, the lake, the heavy cloud coverage, even the flowing mist, resembles that day ten long years ago.

Fern stands motionless, she watches the mist wander around the trees, dance in front of the far mountainside along the far shore of the lake, she watches as it floats over the surface of the lake itself, bringing trees, water, and sky in and out of obscurity.

Before she is completely mesmerized by the shifting dull light, Fern walks exactly ten steps south of the tree, moves aside a flat marking rock, digs in the dirt finding once more the iron shards where Fintan had buried them, so too, is the leather ring, partially encased in the thread bare remains of what once was a midnight blue velvet pouch.

Fern adds another piece of iron to the site, she sprinkles salt upon the path and places several ribboned bundles of oak, ash and thorn twigs on the ground and along the wet side near the water’s edge, forming a circle which includes the tree and the shore of the lake.

Satisfied with her preparations, Fern returns to the dry, warm comfort of her solid black Jeep, waiting for the hour of revelation, promising herself this time, this time Terrell will remain with his people and Fintan will return to his.

Loud voices, dogs barking, rope slapping against wood startle Fern awake, she tumbles from the Jeep, scanning the faces of the strangely dressed crowd of revelers along the shore, and in boats close by, seeing Fintan she throws a horseshoe on the ground, steps upon it and pulls at his arms wrestling him onto the ground beside her, rolling them both inside her marked circle.

“How long, how long was I gone?” asks Fintan looking around, seeing Fern, the tree, the night enhancing mist hiding the lake, and nothing else, not even a glance of that roaming hunt of faery revelers.

Transforming Anger

How do we take our anger and transform it into sacred rage? How do we create a language that opens the heart instead of closing it, a language that creates community rather than divides it? To  bear witness is not a passive act. It’s an act of consequence that leads to consciousness. It matters.

Terry Tempest Williams

Today a vow must be made, that with kindness, with open arms and open hearts, with conviction for protecting our most vulnerable citizens, protecting those rights that define us most as citizens of the United States, while welcoming those who need our solace, we, the people, must, with peaceful protest, stand guard, directing our government to choose kindness, tolerance and compassion.

River Mist Tales: Yellow Leaf

Come in, come in, you’ll dry off from the river mist soon enough, and here you’ll find some tales, so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

yellowleaft_cwm

Yellow Leaf

“What’s the next item on the list?” asked Micah.

“One yellow leaf, found not picked,” said Tanny.

“Not picked, its been weeks since all the leaves fell, and after these winds we’ll be lucky to find a tree branch with any leaves still on it,” lamented Micah.

Shoving the crumpled piece of paper back into her jean’s pocket, Tanny picked up her basket and began walking down the dirt driveway.

“Head towards the river Micah, I’ll go by way of the woods road,” said Tanny tilting her head towards the overgrown path.

“I think we should stick together, this hunt is because we split up in the first place,”

“It’s because you trespassed on old Plumworth land, and took an apple off his tree,” chided Tanny.

“Yeah, well, his daughter always lets me pick apples,” mumbled Micah more to the trees than to his sister.

“Let’s go, the sun’s setting and we’ve three more items on the list, and we only have til the end of the day.”

“As if he’ll know.”

He’ll know Micah, he knows more than you think, that’s why Miss left, to find out for herself, oh, look, over there, one yellow leaf, I told you everything would be okay.”

Together Tanny and Micah placed the fallen yellow leaf into the basket, before Micah asked, once again, “What’s the next item on the list?”

River Mist Tales: Morris Dancers

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

morrisdancers_cwm

Morris Dancers

“Com’on, I hear the bells,” shouted Lucy, standing at the open gate, hiding a tattered piece of paper.

“Hush Lucy, they’re just walking up the street. We’ve plenty of time,” said Tom wondering why he volunteered as escort for Lucy, and her menagerie of imaginary friends.

Lucy, nodding her head in agreement with some unheard voice, ran a few steps up the road before stopping, again, jittery as she waited for her older brother.

“As long as I can see you Lucy, all will be well,” said Tom as his wayward sister darted further along the road.

“I promise I’ll see you Tom,” Lucy called back.

Brother and sister joined the swelling crowd in the courtyard of the neighboring cider makers.

The Morris Dancers were standing in two rows facing each other readying for the dance, their song of thanks for the generosity of the apple trees, the sun, the rain, the soil.

With heightened energy Lucy stood looking around her, beyond the crowd towards the edges of the outbuildings, the field and the orchard.

As the deafening crack of two sticks hitting split the air, as the ground trembling under stomping feet keeping an ancient rhythm and bells, strapped to legs, began tinkling, Lucy continued her search.

She knew they would be here today of all days, and Lucy knew she would speak with them.

“Com’on, come out,” Lucy whispered to herself moving along the edge of the crowd, stepping slowly towards the orchard that was standing quiet and still after the rush of harvest.

As the Morris dancers enthralled the crowd, Lucy called to the spirit of the apple tree, called to his faery companions, whispering under her breath, “I’ve got a message from Miss Plumworth.”