Tag Archives: wonder

The Faeries’ Bazaar

“Have you ever seen it? The path, I mean? It changes and it moves, so it’s hard to find, even if you’re looking for it. Because you never really know what you’re looking for…”

In two weeks time, on the 16th September in fact, the path will lead to Thorncombe Village Hall where you’ll find The Faeries’ Bazaar.

It’s a mystical narrative of interlinking pieces that leads you through the Bazaar and introduces you to the various shopkeepers and characters to be found there. From the Apothecary to the Bookseller, the three sisters in the Sewing Room to Amily the street magician, each has a tale to weave around you.

angel faery

 

My older son Jed has composed a beautiful soundtrack that laces all the stories together. He plays as I read; he is the Troubador.

 

Younger son Zack, who is a most excellent chef, is the Innkeeper, while my husband Brian is our troubleshooter and all round good guy.

All proceeds from this performance will go to The Word Forest Organisation, carrying out amazing reforestation and educational work in Kenya. Check out what they do here: wordforest.org

So, if you’re local (or even if you’re not) please join us for an evening of music and storytelling.

For more details, contact me via my Facebook page:  IzzyRobertsonAuthor/events

Or you can book tickets here: wordforest.org/faeries-bazaar

Hope to see you there!

Dandelion Clocks

dandelion clockI like to mark time with dandelion clocks. They have no need for cogs and wheels, springs and tension. They require no winding up; there are no numbered faces around which hands are driven, ticking and tocking the minutes away with relentless inevitability. No hands even, especially not the straight, black, rigid sort, the ones that chase us through the day, constantly reminding us of all the things that we still haven’t done.

Mechanical clocks; a pulse without a heart, beating away our lives.

No.

Give me the soft sway of the dandelion clocks, soft filigree glimmering in the sun, ethereal filaments floating and dancing on the whim of the breeze. Let me measure my day by sunshine and shadows, the opening of flowers and the rising of the stars. Let me enjoy the moments instead of counting the minutes and let my eyes always be open to wonders everywhere.

Just One Of Those Days

washing machine symbol

 

Ever had one of those days when it seems that all machinery is out to get you, all electronics are conspiring against you and the world in general is having a laugh at your expense? A bit like this:

 

The washing machine ate my jumper

The computer just wouldn’t play

The shower packed up

And the car broke down

What the heck’s going on today?

 

And then other days you wake up to sunshine (real and metaphorical) and the world gives you a big hug and shows you something like this:lavender

 

There are jewels in the lavender.

A flock of greenfinches are

Having breakfast.

Intent on their fluttery purpose, they are

Stripping the heads with glee

Soft jade among the amethyst.

We watch without breathing

Entranced

And then suddenly

They are gone.

 

Everyday magic both, but one definitely preferable to the other. I try and take mental snapshots of moments of wonder like these on sunshiny days; then when everything is going pear shaped they help to remind me that things will get better. Along with a little cathartic swearing and a nice cup of tea, they’re a good way of restoring balance.

The Moss Girl – a short story

Moss on rocks by stream

Photo by Jon Sullivan

The Moss Girl gazed out from the outcrop of rocks into the clearing where the stream sparkled and the silver birches laughed in the breeze, swinging their silky green hair over the water. She saw the beeches behind them, the tree cover thickening slightly away from the glade. She felt the old stones beneath her, the skeleton to her skin, heard the soft music of the flighted and the sunlit air, and the quiet awe of the people who wandered through commenting on the beauty of the water, the trees, the flowers that danced through the grass. It saddened her that she did not have the grace of the birches and their sisters, the ash, the musical voice of the air or the bees, the colourful clothes of the starflowers and campion and buttercups, or the clarity and brilliance of the water which threw diamonds and jewels all around. She did not have the ancient stillness of the rocks or the old wisdom of the beech and oaks, the shimmering loveliness of the leaves, or the radiance of the sun and moon. She felt unseen amongst nature, unnoticed and unimportant.

In the quiet of the early morning she would rise to join the dance with the tree sylphs, and they would encourage her, whirl around her and whisper ‘Well done, little sister.’ But they were taller and more elegant than she, light as air, and try as she might she could never keep up. She rose in the night to follow the naiads as they skipped and skated along the stream, and they would call to her ‘Join us, little sister.’ But they were quicker and stronger than she, streamlined and sleek in the water, and she was always left behind.

One night, when the moon was full and the glade gleamed softly in the light, it all became too much for the Moss Girl. She knelt by the brook, watching the naiads leaping from the silvered surface and the sylphs gliding amongst the tree trunks, and felt completely bereft. Salt tears slipped down her face and into the water and onto the ground, and the naiads came to her and said ‘Don’t weep, little sister, for your tears will turn our stream into sea and we will have to leave.’ And the sylphs came to her and said ‘Don’t weep, little sister, for your tears will salt the earth and our trees will not grow and we will have to leave.’ So the Moss Girl returned to her place and curled up into a ball and wept onto the rocks where she would cause no harm.

She did not know how long she cried but finally she became aware of movement, a shifting and creaking and grinding behind her. She sat up quickly, unsure of what was happening, facing the rocks on which she made her home. There was a rippling in the surface and gradually a figure began to emerge, pulling out of the very rocks themselves. A stillness fell over the glade – the naiads slowed and came to rest at the edge of the stream, and the sylphs returned to their trees, standing silently beside them. The Moss Girl drew herself into the smallest space she could, and all but disappeared into her soft green dress.

The figure shook herself loose from the outcrop and moved forward, stretching. The Moss Girl hid her face, recognising the power of one of the most ancient spirits. The Stone Mother rarely appeared in person – she, like the others of her kind, was usually there as a presence only. For her to corporealise indicated that there was something of great importance happening, and the Moss Girl wanted to stay out of the way. So she was surprised when she felt a hand on her head, stroking her soft green hair.
‘Why are you crying, little one?’ The voice was deep and resonant, felt through the bones of the earth.
‘Oh Mother, it is nothing important,’ said the Moss Girl, horrified that she had taken the Mother’s attention away from her duties.
‘But it is important,’ the Stone Mother disagreed. ‘When one of us weeps as you are now, it affects us all.’
‘But I have no worth,’ said the Moss Girl. ‘I am plain, not beautiful like the flowers, and clumsy, not graceful like the trees, and dull, not brilliant like the naiads. I help no one, I please no one.’
The Stone Mother took the Moss Girl’s face in her hands and turned it toward her.
‘Everyone and everything has its worth, child, but it should not be measured against others. You look out and see the beauty in all around you, but you have forgotten how to see it in yourself. That is why I am here – to remind you of what you truly are. Look into my eyes and you’ll see what I see.’

The Moss Girl did as she was told and looked into the Stone Mother’s large dark eyes. She could see pictures forming and watched in amazement as the glade took shape. She saw herself cushioning the rocks, the sunlight illuminating her in all shades of green, from deepest emerald to palest jade. She saw the many tiny creatures that made their home amongst the roots she sent down and in the shade and the shelter that she provided. She saw the birds taking bits of her loose hair to line their nests ready for their young. And she saw people walking through, some of whom reached out to touch her appreciatively, and one or two who sat down to rest cocooned in her softness.
The Moss Girl’s tears dried and she began to smile.
‘You see now, my daughter,’ the Stone Mother said. ‘We all have our place and our importance, from the greatest tree to the tiniest insect, from the most colourful butterfly to the plainest blade of grass. Never forget that you are a part of the great cycle and never doubt yourself again.’
‘Thank you, Mother, I will always remember,’ the Moss Girl replied.
The Stone Mother returned her smile. Then she cast that smile to all in the glade before returning to the rocks from whence she had come. Moments later, it was as if she had never been there at all.
But the Moss Girl was forever changed. No longer feeling unworthy and second best, she danced her own dance with the naiads and the sylphs from then on.

Summer Night

night sly

Photo: Michael J Bennett

There is nothing quite like being outside wrapped in the warm blanket of not quite darkness on a summer night. Everything takes on a slightly mystical edge and there is that tingle of excitement or anticipation, But for what? The things that we can’t see? The things that might yet be? Who knows? It’s a magical feeling, whatever it is.

 

In the darkness made undark
By the clear pure moon
And the silence that is not
silence, broken
By bat flight and small rustlings
We lay, cocooned between
earth and sky
And heard the stars sing.

Dreaming the Moon

crescent moon over seaI am delighted and very excited to say that my first novel, Dreaming the Moon, will be coming out in paperback on 25th August 2014. The fantastic cover photograph was taken by the very talented Alex Smith (thank you so much) and formatted by the amazing web wizard, Simon West (again, thank you).

It’s a modern fantasy that follows Robyn, heartbroken and haunted by strange dreams, who discovers that this world is not the only one, but is separated from another magical realm by a protective shield that is failing. Thrown into a desperate situation, she and her friends are pitted against time and dark forces in a seemingly impossible task, the search for a lost fragment that will restore the shield and save both worlds.

If you like to look at life a little sideways, if you ask yourself sometimes ‘Was that only a bird rustling in the hedge or was it something else?’, or ‘Did I misplace my keys or is something otherworldly teasing me?’; If you’ve ever thought that the woods seem darker than they should when you’re walking alone at dusk, or wondered if it was just coincidence that you called your best friend at exactly the same time as he/she called you, then I hope that this will appeal to you. And if you’re not familiar with my work, may I (very cheekily) say that I have two ‘snack-size’ stories out as e-books: When Joe Met Alice and Catching Up With The Past, available from Magic Oxygen and Amazon, just in case you fancy an appetiser.

Izzy

Wonder

Magic happened to me last week – ‘When Joe Met Alice’ is officially available for download! That may not seem very magical to a lot of people, but actually the fact that you can press a few buttons and have virtually any book you choose on your device ready to read in a matter of moments is nothing short of miraculous. Magic is seeing the ordinary through different eyes and accepting the wonder of it. So next time we see a beautiful view, or light pouring through the trees, or our loved ones smiling at us, let’s allow ourselves that moment of wonder. Here’s one of mine, in a poem.

Toad - By Walter Siegmund (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsTOAD

Tucked behind the log pile and
Hidden in the hedge,
He had backed into a fallen flowerpot.
That was how I saw him.
His earthen skin,
Well disguised amongst roots and branches,
Stood out against the terracotta.
Crouched so still
With limbs drawn beneath him,
He might have passed for a rock,
Except for his eyes, obsidian, brilliant,
And the slight shiver of his breath.
He knows more than he’s telling,
That toad, old as stone.