I started to write this a few weeks ago. Tonight I made the time to sit down and work on it some more. I may go back and rework it some, we’ll see. For now, I wanted to get it posted and see what kind of feedback I get. Hopefully life will slow down just a little so I can have more time to write. I hope you enjoy this little journey.
Friend of the Dew
I slowly reached my hand up and placed it on the back of the massive Oak tree, fingers sliding between the thick grooves made by the bark. Shifting my weight toward the tree, I eased my left leg forward, toes probing, gingerly reaching out in anticipation of the soft touch of moss. I didn’t like stepping on it, but if I was careful, I wouldn’t damage it and this time I needed the quiet it would bring. The welcoming green felt cool and soothing under my bare foot. Slowly pulling in another breath, I held it, closed my eyes and strained my ears, absorbing all the surrounding sounds. Filtering out the common scratch of a squirrel hiding a future meal, birds singing their young ones to sleep and the occasional drop of a pine cone or twig, I narrowed in on the sound that drew me here. It was a low thrumming, a vibration in my chest that worked its way up to my ears. The sound was more felt than heard, but if focused on intently, I could hear the rhythm and roll of nature in it. My eyes slid silently open, I had to try. Ever so slowly, I eased my head around the tree, tightening the grip of my left hand while adding pressure to my right leg as my weight began to shift. I knew this part of the woods well, though it’d been a while since I had passed this way. On the other side of this sentinel of a tree was a gentle slope down into a meadow. The left side of the meadow made a sweeping arc where other large oak sentinels stood guard along the edge. The right side sloped upward, ultimately meeting a rocky ascent to Elder Gap. At the base of this climb where rock met meadow, was a long row of Eldin Rose bushes. The sweet smell of these fist sized red and white beauties filled the meadow, but only carried a few feet past its borders.
Before my head was far enough around the tree to see into the meadow, a memory flooded my mind. A vision of my sister and me running down the slope on this side of the meadow, green grass squishing between our toes, padding our feet, hand in hand we’d go. Laughing, we were running so fast that eventually one of us would fall over, pulling the other one down. Rolling down to the bottom, head over heels, kids laughter echoing through the meadow. Whiffs of Elder Rose filling our lungs, we’d stop at the bottom, lie on our backs and drink in the sweet smell.
The thrumming sound worked me back into focus and I continued my slow orbit around the tree. Eyes just starting to see into the meadow, I first caught site of the Eldin Rose bushes, the ever-present slight glow emitting from them. More memories tried to force their way in but I was to intent now, eyes searching the meadow, ears moving my eyes toward the sound. As my gaze shifted toward the center of the meadow, my eyes shifted through several patches of moonlight. A faint glow worked its way into my vision. It was recessed in the darker half of the meadow where moonlight had yet to fall. As my eyes came into focus on the glow, I caught my breath and froze. I saw four figures. Three of them formed a semicircle. Looking them over, I realized that the glow was actually emanating from their throats. It was a reddish glow with a hint of orange. Except in color and size, the glow reminded me of fire flies. Watching the pulse of the glow, I could not only feel the thrumming, I could now see it as well. It was their voices, with such a low rumble to them that I could not only hear it, but could also feel it in my chest. I watched in fascination as the glow changed with the sound. As the sound and pitch increased, so did the glow but as the sound drew down, the glow was like the deep burning of hot coals. As the glow deepened, the thrumming increased in my chest.
As captivating as they were, my eyes were drawn to the figure in the middle of the semicircle. She was beautiful, graceful and moved to the sound and feel of nature. A dance so peaceful and though she was the only dancer there, it was as if she were dancing with a partner. It was the sound. She was moving with and at the same time being moved by the sound and light from the singers. Her body had a light glow to it. Her dress was a lacy white that seemed there but not there depending on how she swayed and moved. Her skin glistened, reflecting the reddish glow from the singers. As she spun and twirled, I saw droplets leave her finger tips and the ends of her long hair. As the droplets flew, they would catch the light of them moon and sparkle. I watched for what felt like hours but was in reality about a minute. As the moonlight crept closer and closer to where they were, the thrumming sounds deepened, the glow softened and her dance steps slowed. Moonlight just inches from where she finished her final spin, she turned my direction and I didn’t dare breathe. Her head rose slowly, face directly towards me, the glow from her eyes brightening as she did so. Mouth curving gently up on the ends, she met my eye. The twinkle in her eyes spoke of mischief, wonder and a knowing. She winked and began a graceful bow, head of golden hair mixed with highlights of green moving slowly toward the moonlight.
As moonlight embraced dancer, she disappeared, evaporating into a fine mist and forming a small pool of water where she once had stood. She was gone. Dew instantly covered the ground in increasing circles. Quick as a blink, the three singers were pulled into the fading pool and a small ripple could be seen as they too vanished. The pool slowly disappeared as the rings of dew rippled out to cover the meadow.
I stood wide-eyed for what seemed like an eternity, then finally turned my back to the tree and slid to a squatting position. Leaning against the tree, I let my head drop back.
As the dew formed on my feet, my grin lit up the night sky. I had finally seen a Dew Fairy dance to the heart beat of nature. I knew it, she knew it, and I could feel her touch in the dew at my feet.
Stephen Kellogg – 2010