At this time of the year, woodlands take on an almost magical atmosphere. The low sunlight, the vibrant green mosses that cushion rocks and walls, the lichens on the branches – they all add to that ‘other world’ feel.
It’s easy as we walk through areas of ancient woodland to feel as though we’re stepping back into the past where small communities lived and worked; farming then was oh so different to the vast machines and factory farming practices of so many in the 21st century.
It’s on walks like this that our thoughts drift not just to the past but to the world of the little people. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture a world of fairy glens and toadstool houses. For some, being ‘away with the fairies’ is a term not always used kindly. This thought led to the following poem …
Secrets Shared With Bees
Folk say ‘Take no notice of him
he’s away with the fairies.’
Aye, well mebbe so, I just let
them think what they like.
I‘m happy in my world – a sight
better than theirs I reckon.
I know – when I’m sitting
outside or walking in this bit
of a wood we’ve got nearby –
it’s peaceful. No loud voices,
no rushing, just take me time
look, listen. I hear the bees,
talk to them. Aye, I remember
my old uncle who kept bees – long
time ago that was, but he told me
‘Tell the bees – you have to tell
them when I’m gone.’ So, I’ve kept
telling these here, what’s going on.
Sitting here in the wood, I forget
about other stuff, listen to grasses
rustlin’, watch for my little robin, let
him share bits of toast I keep from
breakfast. He’ll eat from me hand now,
does a little jump up and down first
Some folk say I’m daft, talk to meself.
Oh, I see them pulling faces when I
put bits of sheep’s wool in me pocket –
to make it nice and soft, warm. I come out
here, forget those folk. This is my place
and where I’ve got real friends, peace.
Fairies? Well, that’d be telling wouldn’t it?
That’s between me and the bees.