I Saw The Magics. Yes I Did Too
LC Van Savage
My dear husband Mongo and I recently spent some blissful time in the North woods in a rustic cabin facing an enormous, shining lake. To our delight, we got to watch stunningly beautiful dawns, sunsets, moonsets, and carpets of stars so thick and close we could all but sweep them into our hands as if gathering glittering berries from celestial meadows.
Mongo and I talked a lot, walked a lot, explored and laughed and played. We were Paradisiacally located, and we knew it and loved every instant of our time there. And it was lovely to commune with nature again, although some of it, maybe a lot of it Iíll confess, was from the interior of our car.
Seeing certain occurrences of nature caused Mongo and me to recall a number of beliefs all kids have had about nature over the years; ones I still have and intend to keep, ones in which I still believe. Mongo being Mongo takes all of these beliefs with a grain of salt. No, more like a salt lick.
Anyway, it began when we were driving past a field and Mongo pointed and said ďLook! A fairy ring!Ē Sure enough, there it was, a ring of mushrooms shining on the dark grass. They were beautiful; pure puffy white, like tiny soft clouds and they quite nearly made a full ring. Mongo explained that this happens because of some mushroom explosion or something, spewing out seeds in a circle, but he of course is just so wrong. Every thinking person knows the ring is put there by fairies on crisp, early fall nights, and itís common knowledge that they carefully arrange those rings of fungi so they may have a place to dance, and dance they do, right in the center of those rings of pure, clean mushrooms. Itís true! I saw it happen in the moonlight one October night in my childhood when Iíd sneaked out of my home to watch. Oh yes I did too.
Remember snake spit? Thatís the small white bubbly mass you see stuck to a tall blade of wild grass in a field. I know thereís some safe, boring scientific explanation for that occurrence too, (doubtless Mongoís got one) but everyone knows the stuff is snake spit, and so do the snakes who put it there in the first place. I saw one do it once in the summertime when I was a child. A green snake. He simply pulled the first half of his body upright, pulled his jaws into an O, took a deep breath and shot out that ball of spit onto a tall blade of grass and quickly slithered away, his job done. I saw him do it. I did! I remember how shiny the snake spit was in the July sunlight, all clear white bubbles. So pretty.
Toadstools are my favorites. Know why these beautiful, softly velvet things are called that? Because of course, toads, when no humans are near, actually sit on them, just as we humans perch on kitchen stools. They do! The toads sit atop these most beautiful of botanical specimens and they gossip and schmooze together. Sometimes they even sing, but only the old songs. If a summer rain suddenly happens, the toads simply jump off the stools which then become their umbrellas, and they stay dry while continuing their songfests or conversations. You have to listen very carefully to hear them. As a rule, toads are well mannered beings, and never raise their voices, so you do have to listen hard. I heard them once when I was a kid. They didnít see me hiding high up in an old oak tree. Yes I did.
Now about the trolls who live under bridges. Theyíre pretty fascinating creatures. Scandinavian largely, having come over on Viking ships way, way before Columbus decided he wanted to discover America although everyone knows he really didnít. Trolls are small so they stowed away in those Viking vessels and didnít cause any trouble. They donít eat or drink much so were able to subsist on Viking spills, crumbs and splatters of wine and beer since those hearty warriors werenít well schooled in proper dining etiquette and didnít much care where they dropped their food. Sometimes trolls live in caves too, and not always under bridges. But whatís really nifty about those guys is that they can be either giants or dwarfs. Imagine! They get a choice. But alas, Mongo and I didnít get to see any trolls on that trip, although we certainly looked for them. Well, I certainly looked for them. One of the best things trolls do is to keep out of sight. But I did see a couple when I was a kid, under a green moss-covered bridge over a forest creek. I caught sight of them before they ran away. Yes I did too!
And speaking of moss, we did see a lot of moss on the trees, but it wasnít all on the north side and it wasnít moss anyway. It was lichen which rhymes with liken but looks like it should rhyme with kitchen.
Rabbitís feet and lightning bugs, ladybugs and yellow spiders, the Little Folk who live amongst the roots of trees and steal things from us when weíre not looking, the wisdom of owls, snowmen and snowladies who dance in the winter moonlight when everyoneís gone to sleep, red moons and moons with rings around them, cloud animals, crickets, grass-blade whistles, fairies in the woods, skunk cabbage, lunar moths, wild onions, four leaf clovers, dowsing sticks, eyes in potatoes, buttercups, box turtles, crows, bullfrogs, bluebirds, leaves showing their underbellies to predict rain; there are so many mysteries, myths, tales and magics about the beautiful things of nature. Most are true. I certainly believe in every one of them. They simply enchant me and I refuse to disbelieve. And why should I? These folk tales add delight to life. Lots. And besides, no oneís been able to prove, at least to me, that these phenomenons of nature are not true.
Did Mongo and I get to see all of these magical, mystical wonders on our trip to and through the North woods? No, not all. But thereís a good chance most of them saw us. Do you see them when you go out into nature? Do you believe? You donít? Why not?
Click on author's
byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil
Email LC at firstname.lastname@example.org
her on incredibleMAINE, MPBN,