After struggling to find my way with’ The Earthlights Saga’ (working title, as ever, subject to change), I was looking for inspiration; a kick or a nudge that would set the creative juices flowing again, and I found it in the ancient woods and heaths of The New Forest, in Hampshire.
There is a magic there that pre-dates its near thousand-year history as a royal hunting ground. King William 1st, called the Conqueror, declared these wild acres to be his hunting preserve and woe betide anyone who would presume to take a deer, pheasant or even a wild rabbit. To be caught was a crime punishable by mutilation. A harsh price to pay for trying to stay alive. The days when a peasant could be hanged for the taking of the King’s deer, and could only gather fallen wood for their fires, risking punishment should they chop down a tree for fuel, are long since over and the animals and people who now inhabit this lovely place can live in peace, their rights protected by a more benevolent law.
But the magic from pagan times when elementals held sway and the folks of myth danced in the dappled glades and played in silvery brooks, still lingers for those who would take the time to be still and listen and open their eyes to see the wonders.
Seek out the mysteries in those dark forest pools, where the swaying trees are reflected in the shivering waters, cradling the dreams of naiads; in the sleeping ancient trees where dryads sway and delicate deer and their dappled fauns tremble in the shadows as you pass. Wander the broad sunlit heathlands, dotted with golden gorse and home to wild ponies, and sleek wandering cattle and hear the songs of the Fae in the whispering breeze. A sensitive soul will soon become aware of the ancient magical folks of legend who dream in another older plane that drifts alongside our rushing, hurrying times. They are heedless of the tarmacked roads, cars and noisy lives. They have no need of cell phones, power lines and the trappings of the 21st Century. They just wait for the curious questing soul to sit quietly and listen, and they will whisper their tales and tease and beguile, and, if they deem you to be worthy, you will be blessed and inspired and gifted with their magic.
I pray that I have been so blessed.