On and Over the Hills

"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle

I Want to Believe in Magic

The magic that flits on gossamer wings and kisses the wind and tinklingly sings; the magic that floats on the breath of a breeze and gathers the tears that glisten on trees.

Science is amazing. We know how frost forms. We understand, or at least climatologists do, what conditions and processes create all the different forms of snow. Refracting light, the skies produce rainbows and the aurora borealis.

We know that there are no faeries on gossamer wings waving their magic wands to paint the clouds luminescent hues at sunset. The Will-o-the-Wisp has become the much less inspiring oxidation of phosphine and methane, produced by organic decay.

But I want to believe in magic. When the delicate ice that has coated the alders cracks with ethereal tinkling in the breeze, I want to believe that a gang of mischievous imps is giggling in the shrubs. And when that breeze lifts and strengthens in a conifer forest, Mother Nature herself keens for the struggles of her creations.

When my boys were small, we walked every day. We forded deep cut meandering streams and trudged through the snow drifted under the conifer canopy. The gnarly upraised roots of a fallen forest giant were fairy homes and we discovered the evidence in the tracks of voles and winter birds. I wanted my sons to believe, for as long as they could. If one ceases to believe the magic is gone. Forever.

The ancients believed. Of necessity, they would have been so much more aware than we are. Survival depended on deep knowledge of the environment and what couldn’t be explained was understood to be the work of the supernatural. One’s habits and behaviours were understood to directly affect the forces of nature. Codes were linked to the inducement or prevention of natural phenomena, the placation of the unseen. Codes of living with the environment evolved into the rudiments of social behaviour and structure.

We, modern humanity, have no need to wonder, to live our lives to gain the favour or prevent the ire of Nature. We know it is not magic. But how much less whole are we now? Relieved of the need to concern ourselves with the miraculous, the ephemeral, the delicate balance of the natural elements, we can comfortably indulge ourselves with our hearts’ desires, ignoring the resulting accumulating garbage, toxins and habit destruction; our hearts are free of the fear of  Nature’s influence on our safety; our conscience free of the potential  immediate personal consequences. We live easily but how much less fully; our impoverished souls devoid of wonderment?

But I feel the thrill of magic when the new buds open in spring, when the intricacy of a dew-sprinkled spider web is revealed by an exploring tendril of golden morning sunshine. When a complex arrangement of crystals transforms a dried seed head of a nodding aster into a sparkling sculpture of sublime beauty, magic tingles on my skin. And I want to believe.

20 comments on “I Want to Believe in Magic

  1. Bob Zeller
    November 28, 2010

    Another great story and wonderful photos. That is what all of us have come to expect of you. Excellent! Your images remind me of my childhood in Michigan.


    • missusk76
      November 28, 2010

      Thank you, Bob. I always dread the coming of winter, but once it’s here and I’ve gotten used to dressing for it, I do really enjoy it. It can be so very beautiful. That is, until about March and then it just drags on for the last couple of months.

  2. pixilated2
    November 28, 2010

    This truly beautiful! I do believe in the little people, the Fairy folk who live unseen and work their wonderful magic when no one is looking!

    Climatologically* speaking… is the frost what is known as hoarfrost?
    *(Did I make up this word??? 🙂

    • missusk76
      November 28, 2010

      I’m so glad somebody still believes, Lynda. And yes, that it hoar frost. It is much more delicate and fragile than it looks, forming from moisture in the air and just freezing as it attaches itself to an object or other crystals. It’s a truly beautiful phenomenom.

  3. photosbymartina
    November 29, 2010

    I do believe, yes I do and I have a story idea that I’d like to write someday that captures the magic of faeries. I love your photographs of the icy snow along with the poetic words that follow. Your first photo is breathtaking!

    • missusk76
      November 30, 2010

      Thank you very much Martina and I hope you do write that story. I’d love to read it.

  4. julianhoffman
    December 3, 2010

    Yet again you’ve found a beautiful way to combine pressing issues with the intimacies of our personal lives, Cindy. I may not believe in faeries myself, but I believe. I believe in the wonder of light and snow, the miracle of a wild animal’s eyes, the way wind sifts like sand through the trees. I believe in the possibility of finding ourselves through a deep connection to the natural world, and of the enduring ability those relationships have to transform the way we live in the world. And I believe that in your words and images you’re restoring that sense of magic, that mysterious wonder as simple and profound as frost on a flower. Thank you for showing us this world…

    • missusk76
      December 19, 2010

      The magic really is within, isn’t it? It’s the places and sensations discovered within one’s own body and mind that are the real miracle – that connection, those invisible but tangible threads that draw more and more strongly toward the living, breathing earth as if it has the final energy required to make one truly alive, truly human. As you say – finding ourselves, who we are, completely.

      Thank you, Julian for your inspired and inspiring words.

  5. B.Held
    December 9, 2010

    Completely gorgeous!

  6. farmhouse stories
    December 21, 2010

    What amazing images, I love seeing the patterns of nature change their form through the seasons in your photos. Wishing you a new year full of wonderment!

    • missusk76
      December 22, 2010

      Thank you, Cait. There is wonder in every day.

  7. Linda
    December 23, 2010

    For me there is no belief…there just IS. You prove it here as well….

    • missusk76
      December 24, 2010

      You’re right, Linda. Magic is everywhere. Thank you for reading.

  8. John Griggs
    December 24, 2010

    Nice! I have missed so much being busy with things. I didn’t even know you HAD a blog, lol. I’ve started one myself but am not so prolific as yourself I think.

    Great stuff! I didn’t know you could write, too! You truly are a Renaissance Woman!

    — John

    • missusk76
      December 24, 2010

      I don’t know about that – but thanks, John. I did see your blog when you started it and I’ll have to pop over and see what you’ve been up to since. Thank you for reading!

  9. flandrumhill
    December 31, 2010

    I want to believe too Cindy. Your photos make it easy 😉

    When my boys were young, I too fed their imaginations with stories of faeries and gnomes in the woods. They told me later how much they truly believed in the dangers of being ‘pixie led’ or lost after stepping on a clump of ‘stray sod.’

    • missusk76
      December 31, 2010

      I love that story, Amy-Lynn. I didn’t even know about the ‘stray sod’! I’ll have to research that one for my granddaughters’ education. 🙂 Thanks for stopping in.

  10. lynnwiles
    March 5, 2011

    Fabulous frost. It’s called hoar frost in England and something I don’t believe I’ve ever seen here in New England.

    • missusk76
      March 5, 2011

      We call it hoar frost here as well. I’m surprised that you don’t see it in New England as I believe humid air is one of the pre-requisites. I suppose there are other atmospheric factors that are missing…or your fairies sculp with other materials. 🙂 Thank you for your comment.

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2010 by in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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