Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Enchanted Forest

As a child, I was lucky enough to live across the street from an enchanted forest.

Really, I did.

An honest to goodness, full of magical creatures, enchanted forest.

You entered through a narrow gate on a little path. The first thing you encountered was a magic lamp post standing smack beside a little fir tree. It was as if it was lifted straight out of Narnia, that little lamp. It stood there, a silent sentinel, guarding the entrance. But it always let me pass.

The path meandered along through ancient oaks & towering pines, eventually reaching a tall stone castle. I rarely stayed on that path, preferring instead to wander off into the trees. In summer, it was always shady & cool. And in autumn, the oaks would burst forth in brilliant reds, yellows & oranges & drop their leaves for me to play in.

The treetops were filled with flocks of crows. They would watch as I walked along underneath, cawing in protest. They weren't actually crows, you know. They were really the evil guards of the castle were the wicked queen lived. I was careful to always walk away from that castle so that they wouldn't alert her to my presence. I knew what she had done to the prince long ago.

Squirrels scampered among my oak trees, pretending to gather acorns for winter. I knew better. They were really magical lions masquerading as squirrels, protecting me as I walked in that enchanted forest.

The wind played in the branches of my oaks, singing & sighing. It wasn't really the wind though. It was the voice of the beautiful princess that had lost her prince to the hands of the evil queen. She still sought him, looking behind this tree & in that hollow. I would help her look, never finding him.

I did find faeries disguised cleverly as flowers; dressed in sparkling white, purple & yellow skirts of petals. I also found faeries flitting around on butterfly wings. There were orange monarchs, yellow tiger swallowtails, & every great once in a while, the Faerie Queen herself would appear, in her black wings & shimmering jewels set in her swallowtail. And I would bow low to her & offer her something shiny that I would always keep in my pocket just in case.

At the top of the hill, my enchanted forest opened into a wide grassy field. The path reappeared & wound its way through milkweed & burr bushes down to the river. The river was where the tree spirits lived. The weeping willows, with their long "hair" reaching down to the water, & their wide "laps" waiting for me to climb up & sit for a while to listen to their stories.

You could see the castle turret from the safety of the willows. Every once in a while you could see the shadow of the queen pass as she surveyed her lands from the top of that turret. I would crawl further up the willow so she wouldn't see me.

I was safe in that enchanted forest. The magic protected me always & follows me to this day.

Other people never saw my enchanted forest. No, they saw only the trees, heard only the crows, & thought the castle was just a college campus.

But I knew better!


Maven said...

This was wonderful Jinx. I could picture all of it.

We used to have a fairie path and a fairie circle (where they would gather at night and dance around the fire;) in the forest across the road. But two years ago they came and clear cut most of it down.

Now the trees they replanted are just startint to emerge. Poking their furry green heads up toward the sky.

Kim said...

I will fall asleep now dreaming of your enchanted forest!

This was just beautiful!!!


Jinx said...

Oh, how sad to lose the forest!! But the faeries will come back when it's safe.

I was thinking of going back for a walk there this weekend.

I could use a little magic!

KathrynAntyr said...

I love enchanted forests. I lived on the edge of a magical meadow and we too had enchanted forests.

I followed you here from Miss V's wonderful Halloween bash.

Be sure to swing by my place for I have some brain tonic and three witches brew for you! Vincent Price is waiting patiently for you to arrive to begin his story. I do hope to see you soon!

Happy early Halloween.

Jinx said...

Glad I popped over to your place!

It's just not Halloween without a good dose of Vincent!

Tsquared said...

You've been busy while I was gone. Beautiful piece.

Jinx said...

Well, I made sure you had a lot to catch up on when you got back so you wouldn't get bored!

Thanks, I really enjoyed this one too! I had almost forgotten about the prince!