The Fey on Monhegan
I believe in fairies. They live in our tulips. They swim in our dewdrops. It’s hard to believe in something so small. But when you’ve been the places I’ve been. Seen the cathedrals, the caverns, the light that I’ve seen. You will know too. You will know that when the wind blows strong enough, they take flight. Traveling miles on dandelion seedlings. Always needing a place to rest. This is why people like me who hold on to small pieces and build them small sanctuaries in secret.
It was a forty-minute crossing in the Madeline O. from the main land to Monhegan. The beaches in Maine are magical. The misty Atlantic waters toss up sea glass and lobster buoys. The path to the cathedral is crowded with many who come just to observe. But we were there with a mission. We had seen the summer dandelion puff and we had felt the soon to be blustery wind. We came with empty pockets knowing the rules: you must not bring anything into this sacred cathedral. Your only tools are the ones found in the forest. We began our walk. The goats beard moss dressed the birch trees in silvery green gowns. The pitch pine needles covered the ground. We began to see signs of visitors. A tiny staircase made its way around a tree just off the path. A table was set for two on a stone face in the creek. Pinecone pillows sat cupped in the palms of may flowers. Little feet had traversed these woods, and many more were coming.
Madeline, her mother, my mother, and I were on a constant look out for our patch of open land. Since this Celtic folklore was brought to life in our eight year old minds, Madeline and I had the final say in our building grounds. We saw a rotting stump just to the right of the bend in the path that was illuminated by the afternoon sun. In this moist dark cathedral such bright sunlight was rare. We knelt at the stump and breathed in the heated earth, the decaying periderm, I knew within moments this place would be sacred. Our two mothers filled their pockets with nature’s gems and made dainty piles around our salt stained heels. We sat for hours and constructed little lampposts to line the path we made from pebbles. Our little fingers just small enough to fit inside the cave we made for the bedroom. We set acorn hats on a rock and filled each with berries and seeds. We set two places for our visitors and two more, in case we were lucky enough to dream up a party. Last but not least we built a small bedroom on the tip top of this home. One small leaf with a pinecone pillow filled with yellow rays. But when nightfall came upon the cathedral our fairies would see stars.
There was doubt, of course, that the seeds and berries we left would be munched on, or if our star lit bed would have dreamers. We left just as we had come, empty pockets. If the wind or rain were to destroy our castle before the traveling fey reached it, no matter. Because seedlings filled our dreaming beds and light always shines brightest in the morning.