Copyright 2011 Erin LeFey
All rights reserved
This is a truly wonderful video to watch and a great song if you want to get in the mood for this story!
Our story begins on the Irish coast, in a land named Emerald Talún Agus Farraige. Margaret and her mother lived in a salty white house at the edge of the sand. Behind the house was a lush field before a pretty forest of filtered sunshine. Maggie was very close to her mother, who began telling her tales of their land when she was just a toddler - of mermaids in the sea, faeries in the forest, and all the magical birds, butterflies, dragonflies and bees that flew in between. Maggie knew the world she lived in was alive, breathing and part of her. They were pretty isolated there on the coast, but she would sit for hours on her mother’s lap to listen to the stories, and often go outside to listen to the gentle sounds of the ocean.
Maggie was a adorable already, at only five, with long brown locks, the cutest face with a button nose and a smile that warmed the iciest of winters. And as little girls do, she dreamed. During the day, she wandered outside into nature. During the summer, she often danced in the field, and picked wildflowers to wear in her hair. She’d wander along the beach, finding shells and driftwood only to carry them home for her little treasure garden on the side of the house. When the snow fell, her mother bundled her from head to toe, and she’d trot off to catch snowflakes on her tongue. She’d fall in the middle of the field making snow angels and climb out to make snow princes and princesses with which she’d happily converse.
The next spring, Maggie sat in the field on the edge of the forest with a mirror she carried in her pocket. She could sit in the green grass for hours gazing into the little looking glass. She was amazed by her own reflection; how her face changed when she smiled, how wide she could open her eyes, and how far sideways she could look until she could no longer see her reflection in the mirror at all.
Maggie wasn’t vain, just curious. She wanted to see in that tiny mirror, what everyone else saw when they looked at her. And in the bright sun, she could catch a glimpse of something moving behind her…very fast, in the woods. Maggie thought it was just the light playing tricks, so she would go back to studying her eye color and her cheeks, up close and farther away. Then again, she’d catch that flash! Turning around, nothing was there.
Later in the day, she’d hear her mother’s familiar voice calling her home. Mother always knew where Maggie was and always knew she was safe, exploring the yard around their house and discovering magical things.
As she saw her Maggie skipping home through the tall grass with her little mirror, Roni smiled to herself. She came bouncing through the door talking on and on of lights in the woods, and Roni knew, Maggie had been off dreaming again.
That night, Maggie’s mother told her another bedtime story of the faeries that live in those woods, inside their fairy ring. There were hundreds of fairy houses around a small pond, where they weaved their magic and danced and sang – happy and content in their forest home. There was always music and laughter. For children, they would always appear; for adults, they weren’t so easy to find unless the adults truly believed and meant no harm. As her mother kissed her head, Maggie drifted slowly off to sleep into a night full of dreams.
Maggie dreamed she was making her way into the old woods, climbing over all the exposed moss-covered roots. There were little caves underneath most of the trees that fired her imagination for they looked as if a whole colony of little elves could live under one tree! Sunlight made its way easily to the forest floor for the canopy was wide open in some places making it possible for grass and flowers to grow in bright colorful clumps.
Maggie could easily jump over the rocks and stream in her dreams, even smelling the fragrant flowers but stopped in her tracks when she saw the glittering silver light in front of her. It was a small pond, surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees; but that isn’t what stopped her. It was the faerie circling it. She was so beautiful, with her long brown hair and iridescent wings. Maggie watched as she lay next to the pond swirling the water with one of her long beautiful fingers. Surprisingly, the water remained still. And in that pond, was a perfect reflection of the faerie and the flowers surrounding her. What a gorgeous sight to behold!
Maggie couldn’t take her eyes off the faerie and the pond when slowly the faerie drew her eyes up and looked straight at Maggie and smiled. Maggie ducked behind the tree, ashamed she had been caught staring but at the same time warmed by the smile from the faerie. After a second or two, she peeked back around the tree, and the faerie was gone!
Maggie crept over to where the faerie had been and looked into the pond. It was a smooth silver surface just like her mirror. She saw into it just like it was a solid surface. She reached down to touch it and her finger pierced the top like it was water, she even felt a fish come to nibble on the tip of her finger. Somewhere in the distance she heard her mother calling her name…and then she woke up.
That morning, after eating her breakfast, Maggie took her mirror and was headed right out of the house. Her mother stopped her at the door. “What’s the hurry today?” she inquired, motioning Maggie to come sit in her special parlor with her.
Maggie loved to come into Momma’s parlor, it seemed like such a magical place and always smelled of candles and fresh herbs. Maggie made herself comfortable in a big over-sized chair while Momma sat across from her in an overstuffed chair full of pillows. The room smelled as Maggie always remembered it. Momma smiled as she asked again, “Where are you going in such a big hurry, Little One?”
Maggie was bursting at the seams as she relayed to Momma about her fairy dream, the pond and the reflection. She though if she looked through the woods in the back of the house, she could stumble onto the spot and find the fairy ring and the magic pond.
Momma smiled and said, “I wondered when you would start having the fairy dreams! I have a present for you that my Momma gave to me when I was just about your age.” She stood up and walked over to her big cherry desk by the window. In a small drawer in the middle, she carefully extracted an old parchment and came back to sit by Maggie.
Opening the document carefully, she confided, “This is very old, I think it has been passed down through all of the women in our family. I used it when I started to have the fairy dreams. It shows how to find the fairy circle from the back of this house. In the center, you will find the reflecting pond. I hope the faeries are still there. As I grew older, I wasn’t able to see them anymore and even the pond faded from my view. I do still believe, but I found other magic in the earth. The faeries will be there for you.”
Maggie was so excited when she saw the map. The house was marked and footsteps appeared to landmarks that she was sure still existed. When Momma handed her the map, she kissed her and gave her a huge hug before she practically ran out of the back door.
At the edge of the forest, she hesitated. She felt something for just a moment. It wasn’t fear, or trepidation, not even a warning; it was more like warmth, something deeper pulling her forward into the thin forest filled with morning sunshine and flowers. Maggie was a sensitive child and could sense when she was in danger – she was clearly not in danger here – she felt on the verge of a discovery, another one of her adventures just minutes from her back door.
Upon entering the forest, the first thing she noticed was all of the creatures and how alive everything felt. Squirrels chased each other up and down trees, butterflies fluttered from here to there; birds played among the branches; deer were grazing in the morning light. None of them seemed surprised to find her with a map in hand passing through on the dirt trails. She found all the landmarks with ease by following this little map; first the crossroad marked with three boulders where she turned right, next the two giant fallen trees that led her down a path to an open field from which she could look up and see that there was a stream to follow for a few hundred yards.
Maggie followed a crooked path through a little wood that led to a pile of stacked stones and a tree that looked like it had a pregnant belly that pointed to a smaller path. At the end of that path was the pond. Her eyes were so wide when she saw it; it was the exact pond she saw in her dream. On an outcropping of rocks sat a sack with a shimmering label, she scurried up to see what it said.
The sack was made of white muslin and the label of purple chiffon; the writing was black and read: Maggie’s lunch. She looked up to the sky and realized, it was just about lunchtime, and smiled; nodding her head to her unseen hosts. She sat on that rock and opened the sack. Inside was a large piece of bread, a bunch of green grapes, some cheese, and an apple. Maggie sat in the shade of a willow tree by the pond, eating her lunch and surveying the beautiful lake.
Just as she was finishing her apple she heard a plopping sound in the lake! Maggie turned quickly to see about ten frogs jumping off a rock one by one into the lake near where she sat. Maggie looked down at one of the frogs that were looking up at her and she said, “Hey, what are you doing?”
The dark green frog croaked “Breaks over. Everyone’s coming back.” And with that, he dove back under water. Maggie lau.ghed.
The dragonfly force was the next to fly in, most of them landing among the reeds. One landed next to Magie. The butterflies, flies, birds, insects, and lizards all made their way slowly back to the magic pond and finally the fish began jumping. It was quite a sight to behold watching the pond come to life after their lunch break. Even with all the excitement and sound, all the movement and all the life, the surface of the pond remained perfectly still.
Suddenly, on the other side of the pond, She appeared. The beautiful faery, all dressed in flowing gauzy white with long brown hair, the one whom Maggie had seen in her dream. Maggie scampered off her rock to stand and stare. The faery turned to look at her and smiled, then beckoned her over to the other side with a gentle wave of her hand. Maggie carefully made her way around the rocks, reeds, logs and flowers to the other side where the faery sat in the grass waiting for her.
Maggie sat down next to her and excitedly said, “You are the faery I saw in my dreams last night!”
The faery smiled brightly and in a soft and yet sweet and excited voice she said, “I am! My name is Annan and I was summoning you here to show you the reflecting pool and to introduce you to the faeries that live in our forest. We’ll be here for you as you grow and teach you the Way of the Fey.” With that she lifted her long lean arms and gestured to all that surrounded them.
“Annan, what is the “Way of the Fey”?” Maggie asked, mimicking the gesture, giggling.
Annan smiled brightly taking Maggie’s hands in hers. Maggie could feel the warmth and energy passing between them. Annan explained, “It is how we all live in harmony with nature and learn to use its resources and magic, we are bound to the Earth as it is bound to us. You feel the power of the wind, the heat of fire, the earth in your hands, and the strength of the water, right?” Maggie nodded amazed at how the images she received in her head matched everything Annan was speaking of. “We shall teach you all we know of their ways, and the elements will give you gifts of themselves. Already the ocean has started bringing you seashells, has it not?” Maggie smiled broadly and laughed.
“I saw in my dream that the water in this pond remains very still. Why are there no ripples in the surface?” Maggie asked Annan.
Annan took her hands from Maggie’s and began making circles in the water. Again the surface remained still. She looked over and smiled at her reflection, gazing at all the beauty reflected in the trees and flowers surrounding them. “It’s like the mirror you carry in your pocket. It’s a reflecting pool. There is an ancient saying that “You can only see your reflection in still water”. Can you see it?”
Maggie leaned over the pond and she could see herself, the bright blue sky above, the tree limbs hanging over the pond and the bright reflections of the flowers all around them. Then she saw the lights appearing all around her head. She looked up and little faeries were beginning to appear from the reeds, the flowers and the bushes around them. They weren’t just flashes of light though; these were living, flying faeries coming to rest at the side of the pond. Some had little cups to drink from the water, others danced and played on the higher ground and still others seemed more interested in getting to know Maggie better.
She giggled as they slid down her long brown hair into her lap or landed on her arms. Some climbed up the hem of her dress and sat in a row as if they were waiting for a lecture to begin. An older fairy, which seemed to be an elder of some sort, landed on Maggie’s shoulder and stared directly at her.
“Yes, Ma’am?” Maggie asked while admiring her purple chiffon robes still gleaming after what seemed like a long ride from wherever she came..
“Just checking you out. I always check out the new blood we have joining our circle…I knew your Mother and Grandmother. They were wonderful children, full of questions and eager to learn, happy children and not afraid of anything. Miss Margaret, you have your mother’s eyes and I sense you also have her strong heart. My name is Beatrix and I am the eldest of the faeries living in these woods.” Just then an older man in blue overalls and a green striped shirt and brown shoes flew in beside her, almost having to abort his landing at the last minute.
“Hey Bea, sorry I couldn’t get here faster…didn’t have my shoes fastened. I took a nap during lunch. How’s my favorite sweetheart? And this must be Meggie?”
“This is my adorable husband, Peter. We were born three days apart, I’m the eldest.” She laughed. “Peter this is MAGGIE.” She corrected him, “and you’re not THAT late” she giggled.
“ I am pleased to make your acquaintance MAGGIE; and welcome to the Land of the Fey. Hey, Bea, didn’t we know some of her family? She looks really familiar.” Maggie and Beatrix were laughing now.
“I’ll explain later, Maggie needs to get home, Its close to dinner time and I think her mother is looking for her.” Beatrix replied.
Annan smiled. “Maggie, your mom is going to be calling for you. Nothing her e is a secret and you may share anything you wish. Now that you’ve found us you can find your way back when ever you wish to come. Your mother will understand everything. “
Maggie smiled the biggest smile she had in years, feeling like she was on a new adventure and secure in the knowledge that the faeries, her mother and the element would be there to teach her and grow with her throughout her life.
Maggie said goodbye to the faeries that day and went home to her mother and dinner. Throughout dinner she told Roni of everything she had experienced in the woods in the greatest detail. Roni smiled listening to the excitement in her voice, knowing exactly how she felt and secure in the knowledge that she had the best teachers and the most caring family in the woods like women in her family had generations before her.
Through the years Maggie continued to go into the forest at least every other day learning all about uses of herbs, earth energy, dancing, playing the drum, meditating, earth spirituality, living in harmony with nature and the history of her family. She learned a great respect for all of the earth, the people on it, and the creatures and energy that remain unseen. She grew into a beautiful teenager full of love, respect, honesty, and had a beautiful soul. It was 12 years before the faeries started fading from her view gradually and this made her somewhat sad but she was such a strong woman by then, she felt so strong inside. Her goal then was to teach – teach faith, dancing, and confidence to women who did not have the love and constant emotional support she was privileged to have.
This hub is dedicated to the real Maggie, who will turn eighteen this year. She's a light and an inspiration -
Maggie, may you always have the strength and courage to face what's out there - knowing you are never alone. You've got a whole arsenal of family, including me, who love you - just believe in yourself, listen to that inner voice and face new challenges with that smile on your face and your head held high.
Maggie and her Mom, Roni
We cannot see our reflection in running water.
It is only in still water that we can see.