“Pause”, they said. “Take time to reflect”.
“Can you hear the call?” Asks a voice.
“Will you answer?” Whispers the wind in the trees.
“Where will it lead you?” Words felt more than heard.
“What gift will be yours? What price?” Voices ripple with the water.
A journey begun with beech and oak to the sound of blackbird song. A wide and bramble lined path followed through birch woods with silence falling about us. A muddy branch taken leading onto a darker path, twisting and turning past trees and over shallow streamlets. A destination found among the hazel trees.
Confirmation sought and a sign received. Spirits asked and permission given. A bridge crossed. A gift of acorns fallen in my path.
Climbing down into water rushing past me. Careful steps taken past the realm of trolls. A faery realm I entered. A call I heard to drink and I did. I drank of faery waters and ecstasy poured into my soul. Laughter erupted from my voice, flowed like the waters around my feet, pouring into the air, echoing into the land.
No room for pain or sorrow.
Calm returned I left the waters, treading with care among the rocks. I sang my gratitude and climbed up once more.
I sat by the bridge and sang to the land then wandered once more among the hazel trees.
Blessed with a gift of hazel nut I returned.
Muddy path retrod we walked back to grass covered, bramble-lined path among the birch trees. Berries tasted, rich tang of autumn.
Eyes treated to dappled light on mountain side we returned to woods of oak and beech once more. A journey over.
And half an hour later, pain felt. A price taken but delayed for a time.