Until I was eight, I believed in fairies.
It probably didn’t stop then if I’m honest, but that’s when I stopped admitting it. That’s when I moved from the countryside to the city, when I switched out my village school for something altogether more serious, when imagination became a commodity instead of a plaything.
A trajectory was set in motion that year which took me to all sorts of places: not all of them bad, but all of them lacking something that I’ve only recently realised was important. It was a trajectory that pulled me away from the earth and towards the money: an initiation into neoliberalism that ate away at my soul for years until I remembered that I needed something else.
I was thirty three when I made the shift.
It scared me: moving out of the city and into the countryside. For all the angst it had brought the city had held me, and for all I had longed for the sea its wide expanse was terrifying, and new.
It’s been eleven years since then.
The sea has gone from new to familiar to necessary to embodied, and my scope has widened to include the woodlands and the river and the moor. I am once again a child of the earth, and life makes more sense than it ever did.
Slowing down, easing in.
If ever you wonder how to be you must know that the earth will teach you.
In the past few years, once I overcame the shock of motherhood, I have leaned in to the power of cycles. I am new to this game, but I know already that it is where the power lies.
Right now it is Beltane. The start of summer. That inescapable shift carried in bright green shoots and insistent birdsong. It is also a new moon. The flower moon. A darkness steeped in fresh intentions for the month to come. And I am bleeding. In the tenderest part of myself. A breath, a heartbeat, before things begin again.
It’s been a long time since I have let these rhythms hold me.
When I was small – that eight year old me – I suspect these rhythms carried me in spite of my self. I was so deeply attuned to the landscape I travelled that I never sought validation. I trusted that the world outside matched the world within.
I was wrong.
We have become so violently separated from the patterns that sustained our ancestors. We think that our cleverness can outstep our needs, that our ingenuity can suppress our instinct.
But it can’t. The earth is our greatest teacher, and however much we try to silence her she will persist in her demonstrations of the truth.
She will offer up the shoots of spring to sate our hunger. She will nurture the bright green leaves even when our hope is dead. She will spark the mycelial energy deep beneath the soil: remind us of communication, and respect.
I am now forty three, and I believe in fairies. Perhaps not the way I once did: I don’t see those ephemeral creatures in the trees at the bottom of my garden. But I believe in the magic they represent. I believe that there are powers greater than myself which I need to lean into, and absorb.
And I know that the world cycles round me on many different levels. Moon, blood, sun, tides, hope, trust: forever.
Lean in to them (I will lean in to them) and let us see what we might learn.