Friday, March 20, 2015 dawned wet and foggy. Moisture clung to the screens covering the patio. Thick fog distorted the shapes of the trees. Miss Hilda, Silver, and Bronze sat outside sipping hot coffee in the misty morning light. The mocking birds created a riot of noise while the chirps of crickets blended into the symphony of sounds. The dawn sunrise glowed eerily in the gloom.
It was the first day of spring! At 5:45 P.M. this afternoon, we all would live through the spring equinox, a new moon, and an eclipse, even though we could not see it here in Pensacola, Florida. The stars and planets had all aligned to share some deep secret with the world, and we could feel it in the air. A feeling of apprehension, or expectation descended upon all of us.
Silver read Miss Hilda’s and her own horoscopes aloud.
Miss Hilda’s horoscope said: Libra Friday, Mar 20, 2015
“Today your imagination is likely to be flying high, Libra, drawing on past images and events that you may have forgotten. You may wonder about the commercial potential of your thoughts. A conversation with a friend who knows this subject could prove enlightening. Write your ideas down and learn as much as you can about your various options over the next few days. You might be surprised!”
Silver’s horoscope said: Aries Friday, Mar 20, 2015
“Today you may feel a little out of sorts, Aries, but your creative energies are likely to flow freely. Inspiration could come from deep within you. You are probably more focused than usual, and therefore can spend considerable time working on a task or project without getting restless. Give free rein to your ideas. They might seem a bit dark and strange at first, but they are important.”
Bronze chuckled at our horoscopes, and said he was off to get a few things from the store. Miss Hilda and Silver continued to talk about the predictions for the day.
“Silver, do you really believe in this horoscope stuff?” asked Miss Hilda.
“Of course, I do,” replied Silver. “How could we not with the ways our lives have changed after meeting the Swamp Fairy?” she asked.
“I suppose that is true,” said Miss Hilda. “She has been in my life for so long that I do not think of her as someone new.”
“Silver, would you walk home with me? I appreciate you letting an old woman spend time with you and Bronze. Since the world did not end, I suppose I should get on home,” laughed Miss Hilda.
“Sure,” said Silver. “I am ready for a walk this morning anyway.”
Silver and Miss Hilda set off down the road towards her house close to Fairy Swamp. The fog was trying to lift, as it drifted in hazy layers above the ground. Brilliant azaleas in shades of red and fuchsia glared in contrast to the fog.
The women walked quietly, enjoying the comfort of their friendship, words not a necessary part of their communication process. As they approached Fairy Swamp, the most delectable smell of sandalwood and jasmine, orange blossoms and roses filled the air. A pale green light emanated from the center of the swamp, casting an eerie glow in the remnants of the fog.
“I have only smelled this scent, so beautiful and pure when I have been in the presence of the swamp fairies,” said Silver to Miss Hilda. “Have they started their spring celebration before we got here?”
“No, I don’t think so,” said Miss Hilda pointing into the center of the swamp. “Look,” she said, “Fairy fire, everywhere.”
“Fairy fire?” asked Silver.
“Yes, fairy fire is a plant that is said to grow where the fairies walk. Their tiny feet propagate this beautiful wild flower at the start of spring,” replied Miss Hilda. “My mother used to say that it was good luck if we saw it, like it was a blessing from the fairies.”
Growing in huge mounds all around Fairy Swamp, we saw the bright, red fairy fire plants backlighted by the morning sun. It was beautiful and peaceful here on the edge of the swamp.
Deep in the heart of the swamp, a rumbling sound could be heard. It was the chanting we had heard many times before in the presence of the swamp fairies. It rumbled inside of us and pulled us towards the center of the swamp where we found the heart stone. (Play the video as you read…)
(Image credit: Heart Stone)
The heart stone pulsed and began to glow a deep green color in time with the chanting. Suddenly, right in front of us she stood, the Swamp Fairy. Her long blond hair fluttered in the breeze, while her glittering wings reflected the rays of the sun.
We could hear the chanting in the background, as the Swamp Fairy gazed at Miss Hilda and me looking deep into our eyes. The Swamp Fairy raised her arms and the three of us were covered in butterflies of every color and size imaginable. Just like before, Miss Hilda and I could sense them and feel them all around us. The swamp fairies were everywhere. We felt no fear. We held each other’s hands and soaked in the glory of the swamp fairies. Their iridescent wings gleamed in the light from the sun, while the fog swirled all around us, holding us close.
Miss Hilda and I felt their unity, their strength in numbers. We felt like we was part of them and our hearts began to beat in time to the steady drumming of their wings. We stood there, silently reveling in the unity of the fairies surrounding us. We felt like we were home. Both of us closed our eyes and smiled, living in the exact moment together. We were one with the fairies.
As quickly as it all began, the Swamp Fairy released the butterflies, and they immediately flew off into the sky. However, they did not look like butterflies anymore. Instead, they had taken on their true appearances. They were tiny swamp fairies wearing the colors of the spring swamp, clothed in brown, and a brilliant green, the color of new leaves. Wild flowers of every color were twisted in their flowing hair. Golden flecks of light bounced around them like glittering stars in the night.
Humming birds in luminous colors of scarlet and emerald fluttered in a cloud of color. The birds descended, so that the tiny swamp fairies could climb onto their backs. In an instant, they flew into the sky, scattered to the winds. Miss Hilda and I looked around us and the crimson fairy fire plants were everywhere we looked. We had been blessed by the swamp fairies.
The Swamp Fairy placed fairy garlands of wild flowers in our hair. Fireflies danced about us like twinkling lights. Hares and foxes, armadillos and possum, all the animals of the swamp came forth and bowed their heads to us. Spider web lace was dropped on our shoulders. Droplets of dew hung like diamonds off the webs, glinting in the misty sunlight.
As quickly as it had all begun, it ended. Peace and a deep quiet descended on the swamp. The Swamp Fairy was gone. Miss Hilda and I stood looking at each other with smiles on our faces. It was spring and the Swamp Fairy had blessed us with her magic!
In the distance, the sound of a huge piece of digging equipment could be heard scratching the earth into big piles of dirt. Construction had begun on the edge of Fairy Swamp!
Silver Threading, The Swamp Fairy Story Keeper