the return of the magic

I walked out of the light into the damp night and could breathe again. An old hill wind was flying fast and winter-hearted over the valley, bringing forest wildness to the hill where I stood. I smelled mustiness and wet pine; I remembered walking barefoot through that forest, and listening to its whispered songs in the night as I lay amongst the roots of my big, pale house.

In that moment of faraway, I felt very close to myself, the self I had been all those decades ago.




The older I get, the more I think back to my childhood and the stronger my sense memories from that time feel. Memories of smell and texture and heartbeat. When I was seven and taken out of the forest into suburbia, I felt magic slip away from me as if it was a weave of woodland tendrils that could not thrive amongst concrete. But almost forty years later that dirt magic and faery music return now and again in the wind, the wet nights. It's almost as if I grew into intelligent sensibility ... and now I'm starting to grow beyond it, into something reminiscent of the instinctual, wild, wordless enchantment of childhood.

Why do we guide our children out of their magical connection with the supernatural world? Why do we make them sensible and straight, at least until they're old enough not to care and fear anymore and can reclaim their wild selves? We so dearly need fairy-whisperers, wish-makers, dreamers, dancing spirits, for our teen and adult communities. We need the magic itself.



9 comments:

  1. Oh the beauty of your words. I can feel that wind, that forest you speak of.

    I wish too that children could stay magical, discover their own unique gifts, ways of reading the world. I feel I lost myself quite quickly during my school years as I tried to fit in, tried to be what was considered smart and good. No one spoke of intuition, of listening to the trees, the sky, seeing the beauty of things. It was much later that I allowed myself to discover those things.

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  2. So beautiful. My strongest, most powerful childhood memories all involve trees and earth. One of the main reasons we moved here was so that E could have access to the same things. She may adore her X-Box but she still asks to go to the pine woods. xx

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  3. A thought-provoking post Sarah. I spent most of my childhood in the world of make-believe - for the most part my family lived in towns with only houses, shops and city streets for my playground - then in my teens we moved to a small village where we had a wild garden with a stream running through it and a few yards away a wood, which we called a spinney. This was then my playground where adventures were played out and I ran wild. It is only since I have reached maturity that I have really begun to appreciate my surroundings, nature and the seasons - it is never too late.

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  4. So beautiful! I do love wild moments like the one you've described where one can step out at night into the wind and be immersed in the land. The happiest moments in my childhood where those full of magic, rivers, hills, forests and fields of wild flowers. I constantly reach back to those things for balance, insight and groundedness.

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  5. i so agree. i grew up in a rural area and cannot imagine an urbanized upbringing. we need to be grounded in our beings through experiencing the natural world. i think it's absolutely critical for children.
    how lost i would have been---would be now---without the wild magic of trees, dirt, stones, plants, clouds, watercourses...earth and sky feel like they are scarce in cities.

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  6. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. But you are all such sensible women, and I must confess I did not mean "the wild magic of trees etc." I meant actual magic - fairy magic if you will, soul magic, or simply the supernatural. :-) But perhaps I am too strange ... ;-)

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  7. I absolutely agree with our words today Sarah. Why is it we cease to believe or do more to encourage our children to believe. I have always been closely connected to my child self and held tightly to her. The magic, the longings, everything. If people think that's strange, I'm confused, because to me it's strange to think that others don't have these same longings in their souls. We can try to 'grow up' and hide them away, but that doesn't mean they are not there.
    hugs....

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  8. no, you are right, the fairy magic---the otherworldly---too...we need that so much. only that i came to it through being grounded in trees etc, as much as anything else. plant spirits, earth magic, ancestors reaching out, talking to trees and walking with animals...children know these things. we should help them NOT to forget, not to set aside the magic!

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