A WITCH’S DWELLING

Have you even been inside a witch’s cottage? I didn’t think so! Would you like to visit one? Oh I think you might like to... Yes? OK then, come on!

All witch’s cottage are not the same. As every flower is different from each other so are each witch from each other; and so are the dwellings they choose to live in. I once met a witch who lived in a beautiful lot on the mountainside overlooking undisturbed forested mountains that housed many homes. Her home had spring water and solar energy. So close to people she lived; yet, nobody knew they had a witch for a neighbor!

But that’s not the norm, usually. More likely, you’ll find witches living deep in the forest. Most of the witches I’ve known lived there—in the forest; among the tall ancient trees that at night wake up and stretch, and blink their eyes and talk to each other and even move around.


To pass unnoticed, and to prevent being discovered, witches may construct magical house which may have the illusive form of a regular den or a burrow; like the dens raccoon and other small creature would use for temporary shelter. 

The technique of camouflage is used by the animals for survival purposes and to avoid being captured by the predators, but witches are the supreme masters of disguise, and by camouflaging their homes they demonstrate their unique, amazing and diverse ability to deceive; blending themselves as they do with the environmental surrounding, or hiding in order to maintain their survivals.


It’s been known that witches sometimes like to build houses with amazing similitude to the common bird’s nest you’d find in tree branches, or a hole in tree trunks, a rabbit hole in the ground, and even a spider’s web on bushes, and any other places you think an animal may be living… many other sites are imitated, or used as an illusion, including piles of leaf litter, the crooks of trees, old squirrel nests, or even piles of reeds, or a shelter of vegetation or mudflats piles… but don’t let appearances fool you. Watch the signs and activities around these shelters and you’ll see what I mean.
 

Inside that apparent burrow or rabbit hole hides a totally different world. Once you cross the entrance of a witch’s humble burrows or dens (if you can make it through) you’ll find yourself inside the most lovely of cottages, with windows bathed in sunshine and mysterious rooms filled to the brim with the normal witch’s cornucopia; such as spell potions and magic concoctions and bottles of liquid remedies and weaved baskets filled with aromatic plants and dried herbs, tonics and old caldrons and ancient human skulls and bones...
 

How would I know about these things?—you might be wondering. I know, because once, when lost in the forest, I happened upon one of those ground burrows I‘d mentioned.
 

The hobbit house I saw emerged from the earth as I was making my way through the thick underbrush and tall ancient trees that swayed together, exuberantly, with branches and tendrils that seemed to be reaching out to each other. 

It was getting dark and the only shelter I could thought of to spend the night was the hobbit house; which, by the way, it was really just a rabbit hole—minuscule and muddy. So I squeezed myself almost flat through the tiny entrance and got in. And what do you know!

I was render speechless with that I saw! No. Not the nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with worms and the oozy smell I was expecting... oh no! It was the most glorious little cottage I had ever seen, with walls and foundations made from stone, and all of the flooring, finishing, windows, plumbing; virtually everything inside, was re-purposed from scrap materials from the forest.


A wood burner heated the cottage, and an ingenious system that piped cool air in from underground kept the refrigerator at an optimum temperature. A skylight filled the small home with natural light, water was sourced from a nearby spring, and solar panels provided all of the necessary electricity. 

It was an amazing little hobbit house, or a witch’s house, and I liked it so much that I even asked the witch who owned it if at least I could come visit whenever I wanted. My wish was granted, and even now, after so many years since my discovery, I still come here from time to time just to relax and just be. It’s pure bliss!

I wish I could draw you a map to help you find your way here; but I’m not allow to… and we know better than disobeying a witch’s wish; right? I certainly won’t want to do that! Wishing you a magical week, whether shimmering with stardust or just your glowing selves!
 
(Image source: Arwensgrace and Internet)

Tea in the garden

Oh, so nice of you to stop by. Do step inside. Come as you are. Come all. But oh do be careful where you step, or you may be too startled by the unexpected things you'll find here. Like what, you may ask... why, like hidden treasures and butterfly wings and dragonfly hair and magical gazing globes and and and... and all the magic you can expect, smothered in fairy dust...


And what did I tell you... Oh my goodness this spot is almost too much of a tease! Why, can you not see it? Is it really what I think it is? Oh yes, the fairies are taking a little tea break again... 


A tea party under the giant elephant ears! 


How fun... shall we join the fairies? Milk or lemon? 


Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Let's see: Teacups, tea saucers, a tea pot, a tea party... Alice? But of course, Lewis Carroll’s literary nonsense, “Alice Adventures in Wonderland”! That's precisely what comes to mind. 

Oh, I still remember the first time I read “Alice Adventures in Wonderland”. Funny, and strange, how one same thing can convey such an array of diverse feelings in people, don’t you think so? I mean, what was “Alice in Wonderland” to you back then when you read it for the first time? And what sorts of feelings did it stir in you? Did you love it, did you hate it? In your child’s mind, were you Alice? Or maybe did you decide you wanted to be the White Rabbit? Or Dodo, or Bill the Lizard; or even the Hatter? How did the story made you feel then? By the way, I detested the Hatter. I hated that he hated time. Murdering time it really is not a wise thing to do, is it? ;) 


For some strange, inexplicably reason, I remember I didn’t care for Alice either; nor I wanted to be the Duchess or the Queen of Hearts or any of the, at times grotesque anthropomorphic creatures in the book… but oh, how very extraordinary and wonderful and remarkable the idea of falling down a rabbit hole… down down tumbling down into this astonishing imaginary world of my own where animals could talk and I could be my very own Alice, in my very own imaginary world. Daydreaming was a marvelous thing then, and it still is... 


Imagination it surely is the most extraordinary thing. From that day on my dreams would almost always took the same trail where I'd stumble upon a rabbit hole and down I went straight into all sorts of wonderful and full of light imaginary worlds. 


Just like the ‘real’ story, my dreams were also tales devoid of logic; and they played without reason and common sense and they were just as magical; and pure enchantment. I had never stopped dreaming since that day… 


And still today… sometimes... I’m still spinning spinning... 


Traveling in time; out in the cosmos... leaving behind the clearing where the Mad Hatter's tea party is taking place... behind is the Queen of Hearts and all the creatures of Wonderland… I’m out out of the garden’s gate into this other strange vast universe… 


And again, there are times when dreams become reality and through the magical mirror I happen to be in the loveliest garden I’d ever seen... a real garden, with a real house and a real woman with real twinges and growing pains... still, I chose to see magic all around me! 


Magic it really is all around us, and it always be, but our ability to perceive it depends on our willingness to reconnect to our joy and delight in the small things, and enhance our creativity by letting our inner child play! That’s the real secret to magic! 


So alas, don't ever stop dreaming!
And hope and hope and hope some more... 




HOLLOW WOODS



There’s a forest somewhere where time is forgotten. In the middle of a clearing, in that forest, lays a stone cottage awash in natural light. Gleams of sunshine slant through leaves and branches sweeping lush grasses and brush the oaks and beech trees in brilliant yellow light. And it seems as if trees were rooted in pools of melted butter, and if the drips of morning dew falling from the canopy overhead, globules of gold.

As you prowl mossy paths watching the slow movement of time, you listen. Far from traditional rhythms—a sound, a hum; the gurgling of trickling waters from a small creek nearby; random sunbeams marking the solitude as the scents of rare flowers escort your footsteps. Mornings are bathed in brilliant golden light, crimson creepers and blackberries, and afternoon are spent among the Spurge, Henbane, Nigella and pink Marsh Mallow… and there, and everywhere, you’d be surprised by the amount of roses growing in careless profusion under the sinuous dimness of ancient trees and giant ferns.

And thus, your days seem to melt away in dreams of verdant greens and serene pink peace. But don’t you be too oblivious to your surroundings, for the leaves may tell a different tale… bogies and fairies, a sense of eeriness would pervade your path as unknown and bewitching tunes swirl through trees and branches bringing tales of witch's midnight flight, and stories of magical powers of creatures untold.

And there you’d be—in the midst of this wonderful and mysterious out-of-the-world place; transfixed, among whispering trees, without really knowing what the next adventure will be, or what estrange creature you’ll get to meet, for the hours you’ll pass here and the people you’ll meet here are all enchanted. At night, the sky is full of star songs and there, cradling in earth's skin, are unknown entities, writing messages in the landscape, leaving us pondering over their abstruse musings. I come here often, if only in the astral realms.

Hollow Woods is an imaginary place. I dream of such a place, and my heart cries out for memories that have never been. Yet, the existences of these dreams unlock a multitude of possibilities. Time loses all meaning when I’m here; I am forever lost in the mystery of the deep forest.

So here I am... a ghost in a ghost forest. Should you visit this magical forest, I’m sure you’ll hear my spirit self singing on the breeze.

The enchantment of October

The kiss of morning mist upon the garden, scent of wood smoke swirling in the air; wonderful chilly mornings under a crimson canopy...
 
What is all this telling us?  Ah yes, friends, the enchantment of October is upon us.  And thus, it has happened again... the other morning, right after waking up...

I thought I heard something in the garden—little whispers, strange small voices. Cerulean light glided through the half-opened window of my room filling it up with tiny stars of glittering light. I had a feeling I knew what it was. So I tiptoed over to the window and very quietly peaked outside... ah yes, it what the winter fairies that have just arrived!   


It happens every year around this time.  You see, they must bring to the land the season of leaves, hibernation, chilly breezes and pumpkins. As usual, they arrived in anticipation of All Hallows' Eve and the closing of the garden. It's the fairies' favorite season you know... and thus, they must make sure every pumpkin, peach and prickly pear are collected before the witches get here. It's their job.

It was fun watching them sealing blooms, tucking roses into bed... blowing sunset-painted kisses on trees and shrubs... you can watch a fairy at work as much as you like, as long as you  keep very quiet. But don't you dare look straight into her eyes, if you don't want to be blown away under their spell...

It was fun watching them spreading yellow leaves all over the garden in their jeweled sandals. And dancing to the spells of the Northern winds... Did you know that fairies sing while they work? They do! And what lovely song I heard them sing:    

"If you believe in who you are,
who you were always meant to be
 If you open up your heart,
then you'll set your spirit free.
In this time of the season,
every leaf on every tree, will start to shine...
come and see, take my hand,
come with me and fly"...

Have you ever heard that song before? I bet there are more than one little girl out there who has... including little me, of course...
Sparkles, Dixie Hollow, a blue harvest moon rising up, precious moonstone... I just love it all! Oh sprinkle me with pixie dust!

There's no stopping those winter fairies once they're here. Tree and shrubs will shed their leaves in a day on their command. Frigid northern winds will arrive at their lead and the landscape will change in a wink. Heartbreaking, but unstoppable.

Well friends, I better take off now lest the Halloween witches decide to show up today too... Oh they will, believe me, they will come by... I'm just hoping is not today.  I truly think it's the magic of October. Do you feel the Halloween spirit creeping up everywhere?   I'm sure you do.  October’s best for sure!

Thank you for coming by!

Lechuzas


I love birds.  I have a special connection with birds and love them all. But my favorite above all my garden favorites would has to be the mysterious and ever so controversial “Lechuza”, or “Mochuelo”… the Gypsies call her "Ghost of the Nigh"—the owl, with its large eyes and mysterious ways. 


When I was a little girl growing up in a faraway land, I was terrified of them. Folks in our little rural community were very superstitious. They believed that the presence of an owl could only meant one thing: That a ghost was lurking nearby. Thus, Lechuzas were detested and much feared. Lechuzas were harbingers of death. Mothers and grandmothers would teach their children to hide from them, and fathers and grandfathers would lock every window and every door of their houses at the stroke of midnight to prevent bad luck from coming in whenever a Lechuza would cross the night sky.


My sister Lissette and I were never ever to look into a Lechuza’s large unmovable eyes and gargoyle-like face. And so, whenever they would fly low over the tin roof of our humble little house at night we would cover our ears and hide under our blankets trembling with fear. The eerie-sounding cries of the Lechuzas used to send shivers up our spines.

Isn’t it funny how we humans would outgrow our fears as we, through the years, learn, understand and get gradually exposed to the sources of our anxieties? Ah yes, I love owls, and I have them everywhere in my garden; only they’re not real ;) 

I keep dreaming and hoping that one day I will see a beautiful owl perch high in our Spruce Pine... silly me an owl in my urban garden! Oh well, one can always dream, right? 

Magic

Days without sunshine are boring; they lack charm and whimsy, and thus, I’m desperate for some good old fantasy... you know the type: From witches in enchanted forest to time-traveling magic doors and flying carpets to naughty elves and spooky trolls. But you see, one must have the right conditions... those magical moments when you are suddenly swirled up in the air in a flight of imagination and dreams and visions would come true can only happen on warm sunshiny days under a shower of petals... roses and sunshine can put a whimsical spark in you without a doubt!


Thus, I’ve decided if warm sunny days aren’t going to show up any soon around here, then I should take control of things. Ah yes, I’ll go find me a magical world, even on a cold dreary day like today…  So I run up to the attic and walked my way though a sundry jumble of boxes and things right to Arabella's magic box where I keep all the necessary paraphernalia for some delightful magical time… 

Let’s see—pink shoes… where are my pink shoes? First thing first, you know! And where are my potions and spell bottles? I wonder if I might have left them outside to rot... That would be disastrous! You see, the spells kept in those bottles should not be released by the wrong hands...
Nor should they be exposed to inappropriate atmospheric conditions; least you want terrible things to happen... but don’t you worry; I’m sure they must be around here somewhere… Ah yes yes here they are! 

These are my spell and ritual oils and potions, but the exquisite magical potion bottles are not. They're Arabella's bottles... 

Bottles where she used to keep her very own powerful witch's spells. These spell bottles and many others I rather not show here; such as the Dragonfly's Flight and the Fire of Passion potion bottles were handcrafted and adorned by Arabella herself with lovely decorative gems and vibrant stones.
Now, I have my pink shoes on and I got the magical key in my hand... so, are you ready? Let’s go find the magical door!


By the way, have I ever told you the story of the doll that grew old in the attic?—pretty creepy! So maybe I should not bother telling you that story, in case you’ll get nightmares later. 


 

Enchanted by rain and wind

What would a witch be like, one from long ago, in an ancient era? How would she talk? Was she political? Did witches actually brew herbs in a forest lair?


I’ve known of a woman who lived in a garden; a witch—or so she thought she was. Was she a spiritual guide and a consultant in matters of nature, life, and the beyond?

She was just like you and me: A woman this I know. But every time rain came down and wind sweep through her garden whisking away all the leaves and petals, something magical happened inside her brain… she could hear the rain singing, and she could hear the wind calling her name; a whisper in her ears, beckoning her to frolic, in the cool late summer rain…

Do you sense things on the horizon? Many do. Do you ever experience intuition? She did too. She had a knack for knowing when it was going to snow, and she could hear, as birds migrated at night, the lift and fall of their wings… swish whoosh—the strong swift sound of their powerful wings mesmerizing her.

This realm we call life, is quite magical! And all of these senses, or ‘knowings’, are valid. And she was gifted with all of them. Do you think she might have been a witch?

"I smell what cannot be predicted. I see where the day has not yet shone. I hear the silence of a winter not yet hardened and the song of a spring not yet revealed.” – The Witch

In the magical garden


Big fluffy orange clouds, day walks, evenings illuminated by fireflies and spending every day in a garden you hold so dear to your heart...


Butterflies and fairies have returned to the summer garden, setting imaginations off, to wander the land of dreams.



Feeling as free as a bird- nothing to do but catching bugs all day.



Lost in the land of giant hollyhocks... 


Treasuring every bit of that child within; breathless, laughing in the sun. Believing in fairytales too... 



Mysterious and lovely black hollyhocks... love them...


Summer's filled with breaking the rules, walking on air...


And ignoring all those new freckles and wrinkles, and of course, following your heart too. Summer is the most delicious time of the year... and who needs shoes on days like these?



Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world. - Ada Louise Huxtable.




A magical garden


My garden is a very special place… small magical beings live here. My garden is my joy and refuge, and it is also my favorite place to relax, play and pick roses...You would find me here on any given summer's day dreaming silly dreams on soft cool grasses under the trees...

Birds would fly down the trees to keep me company as I doze off into dreamland enchanted by their songs. Ah yes, the difference between common everyday living and wonderful magical living is the difference between being here, in the garden, and being somewhere else.
 
Anything can happen here; I mean anything magical. And it will! You would hear the angry voice of god in thunder, spirits would materialize in bubbling waters, owls would be the embodiment of wisdom, snow would be home to trolls and winter fairies, and if you would pay close attention to your surroundings you would hear voices speaking to you from stones, plants and animals. And all because of the contact with nature and the profound emotional energy that this symbolic connection supplies. But of course, you don't have to believe me if you don't want to...

This is also the place where magical things would appear out of nowhere, and the impossible would become possible... who would've thought that the Ivy could grow old silver pots amidst its dark mysterious leaves?

Or who would have guessed that bushes hide magical doors that would transport you to enchanting worlds outside your world?
 
Ah yes, the only inconvenience of having such a delightful magical door in your garden is not having the key to unlock it. Yes, I’ve lost the magical key to the magical door! And I am now desperately looking for it.

I have searched every imaginable place you can think of... my friends the rabbits have faithfully followed me everywhere trying to help me find it, but optimism is fading away fast.

You see, without this key I cannot go back to Hollow Woods ever again, and I won't be able to be transported to Arabella's world of mysteries and illicit love again... and as you can remember, I have a story to finish. So I must go back and learn as much as I can so that later I can come back and relate everything I'd seen...
 
Have you, by any change, seen this key anywhere in your garden? Hopefully, you’d know of some nice gnome or fairy in your garden that would be willing to come help find the key to my magical door? Oh I do hope so!
 

A troll by the name of Barbegazi lives here too. As some of you may know, snow trolls don’t never ever come out of their winter burrows deep down under the ground during warm weather. But because anything can happen here (and it would!), you may be lucky and find him strolling the gardens, proudly exhibiting his lovely Sedum Spurium hair, which by the way it has grown beautifully this spring!
 
Oh my dears, magic is real... so very real.  Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.
 

Moon Child



The moon has always held a special fascination for me. When I was a little girl growing up in a far, faraway land, I would go stand by the window and wait for the moon to come look for me...

As soon as she appeared I was summoned out to the garden...

I was sure if I looked at the moon for a long time I could see things no one else could. The moon must have mystified me, because on those nights when only a narrow crescent of the moon was seen, I could see the rest of it faintly outlined, and could also see how that part of the moon, half hidden from our sight, illuminated the entire earth... it was a magical time, a time to dream and to stretch out my arms and touch the very moon. Wind, rain or snow I was always there; waiting for the moon to invite me walk the night in her silver shone...

I want to tell you the night knows this, that the moon dressed in her pearly dress can swift you away in the endless sky, that it can carry you from star to star and swing you to sleep in a cradle made of silvery light... but would you believe me? 

What do you see when you look at the moon? Do you think the shadows look like a face? The Japanese see a rabbit in the dark patches on the moon. I see butterflies patterns as it draws nearer, and I see serenity, tranquility, mystery, and intrigue.  I see a promise--a fresh new start.

I love the tender brilliance of the moon casting shadows across the garden from so far away...

I remember vividly how I used to be in awe of the moon following us home after church. How could it do that? I used to love that it would do a slow dance across the sky every night, always surprising me where it would end up...

As I grew older, I realized that it always danced the same dance. A dance from one side to the other, consistent in its course... like a good mariner steering through the seas from one shore to another, from sunset to sunrise...

Sitting here tonight in the stillness of my cozy cottage watching the moon sending its light through the window, patterning the garden with shadows, adding character to the night, a wondrous tale is revealed to me...

Tonight, I'll wish upon the moon, not a star, but the moon. Your wishes would have more hope of coming true, for the moon is brighter, and bigger...
 
Child Moon by Carl Sandburg: The child's wonder at the old moon Comes back nightly. She points her finger to the far silent yellow thing shining through the branches filtering on the leaves a golden sand, crying with her little tongue, "See the moon!" And in her bed fading to sleep with babblings of the moon on her little mouth.