This morning we set out, my faithful companion and I, to wander the woods on Midsummer Day. The paths were cool and shaded green, sun glimmering through the leaves to create patterns of light and dark. In short, it was a pretty magical way to start the day.
I have a long tradition of going to the woods on Midsummer. When I was small, my grandmother used to take me there to look for fairies – whether we found any or not I can’t say, but it always seemed a magical time to me. My grandmother knew the name of every flower and taught it to me, as well as phrases of her native Welsh. We would pick snowdrops in springtime, wandering through the village with our large basket overflowing with tiny white bells and green leaves, which we then parcelled into posies for gifts.
When I lived in Australia, the summer solstice occured just before Christmas, so it was a slightly different celebration. Still, I always tried to surround myself with green leaves, whether walking by the Yarra or driving through the Mornington Peninsula hinterland, where twisted pines reached for the sky and once, magically, kangaroos bounded across the road as dusk was falling, their fur grey as shadow.
Today, however, my canine companion and I took the winding streets and backways until we reached the Little Wood, as it’s called, a small patch of wilderness leading to a green and pleasant meadow, one of doggo’s favourite places to run and play.
The grass was tall, starred with dandelions and buttercups, deep blue speedwell and pink campion, butterflies fluttering here and there. The trees were bursting with green, as though decorated to celebrate the turning of nature’s wheel, the blue sky festooned with clouds.
I threw doggo’s ball for her and she chased it, disappearing into the long grass and emerging decorated with dandelion seeds, lying down to have a rest every once in a while. We saw one of her doggy friends from puppy training and they had a play, then we wandered back past the broken tree, while ravens danced in the high branches.
We left the meadow, taking the main road back home, entering the world of men once more. But I carried a little piece of forest magic with me…
Happy solstice, everyone – may your light shine bright 🙂
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My grandmother was from Wales too.
Ooh really? Which part? Did she speak Welsh to you too? 🙂
A little bit. I’d have to look up the spelling of the town. It’s like the longest word in existence, but she lived out of that town. She came over on the Carpathia, one year before it rescued the Titanic survivors.
Now that’s quite a story! I know the place you mean – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
I remember trying to learn how to say it when I was young! 🙂
I think you missed an L in there somewhere. It’s a great story, because it’s true.
The best stories often are 🙂
What a glorious adventure. 😀
It was a lovely way to start the day 🙂 Hope you had a lovely solstice!
Hey Helen! This was beautiful, and the images so crisp! I read this to a roommate, and she enjoyed it also. I go to an open mic night, and this would be a perfect read, if you don’t mind me doing so. I understand if you are disinclined.
How are you friend? I haven’t been on in a while!
Aw, thank you so much! I’d be thrilled if you read this out at your open mic night – please feel free to do so 🙂 All is good here, although I’m not blogging as much as I used to. I haven’t been on here much either! How are things with you? x
Things have been a little rough. I had a mental breakdown at work, and cried. So I’ve been off for a few days. I think more than a few things just go to me, and I melted down.
The open mic isn’t for a couple of weeks, but thank you so much for allowing me to read! I’ll let you know when the next one is.
Aw, I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope you’re feeling a bit better now. Sometimes when things build up it’s like a wave crashing over us and we have to let it take us. It’s not easy, and I hope things improve for you.
And thank you 🙂 I am honestly quite honoured that you want to do that xx
Beautiful writing. It invokes images of a sunny meadow on a tranquil summer day. So relaxing. I want to go there. 😊
Thanks so much, Theresa. It was a gorgeous day, perfect Midsummer 🙂