Fairies, Mink Tracks, Eagles, Pumpkins and the Art of Being Truly Alive!
YAY for another wonderful, magical adventure with my dear son, Orion! Wonder is a quality, an essence I actively cultivate in myself. When in wonder, the magic and tremendous beauty, love, wisdom and aliveness of Nature comes rushing into all my pores. When in wonder, my heart is open, my being receives from Life around me and the treasures absorb into my Soul and twinkle through my eyes.
My son is a Master at this, and so when the two of us embark on an adventure or ninja adventure (as most adventures these days are ninja adventures for us :)), we are a dynamic duo in cultivating, gathering and playing in Wonder. 😀And it is sooo FUN!
Fairy Village on the Snoqualmie
A few weeks ago now, we went to one of our favorite sunny spots along the Snoqualmie River and Orion had the idea to build a fairy village. In November we had a dry, sunny cold spell, and the river levels went down and one of the gravel bars jetted out like a peninsula to the middle of the flowing waters. Some river water still came up the side of the gravel bar next to the bank, making a shallow “lagoon” with clear, rippling waters, grasses and floating leaves.
Orion chose a spot on the gravel bar close to the wide, big river and built a rock wall and several rock houses. We each gathered little sticks and small leaves and created many fairy families (sticks were the fairy people and leaves as their clothes :)). We also had another fairy house outside of the village wall and all the fairy people and children were friends, and were SOOO excited that Orion had made them such lovely homes!! Orion then found a boat (a foot long piece of wood) and we invited the fairies to go sailing in the lagoon! Yay!
It was an incredibly fun time, and the warm sunshine against the rocks and flowing water sounds of the river filled us with a gentle joy and peace.
Five days later, on one of our morning adventures, Orion and I decided to head back to this spot to check on our fairies and their village. Our excitement was palpable as Orion skipped down the path that takes us to the river, his eyes bright and sparkling. He was excited to see how his fairy friends were doing.
Then he stopped at the bank while looking down the river. “Wait, Mom, what is that in the water?….Pumpkins?!” We could see several bright, round orange things sticking out of some shallow places in the water. And as we peered further down river, we saw several close to our fairy village. “How did they get there, Mom?” Orion asked, full of curiosity. And then looking up at me, Orion excitedly exclaimed “Let’s ask the fairies! They’ll know. Ooh this is a Pumpkin Mystery adventure!”
And so we bounded down, balancing on the stones, leaping from one to the next and made our way to the first big pumpkin close to the river’s edge – still far from fairy village. As we investigated this one, big and oblong-shaped, an American Dipper flew to the river’s edge next to us. Oh, I love these birds! She was doing her cute bouncing and dipping through the sun-sparkled waters. Dip, dip, flutter, flutter – ahh so sweet.
As the pumpkin was too big for Orion to pull out of the shallow waters, we turned our attention to the sandy mud at the rivers’ edge to investigate any cool tracks… And, Wow! Right behind us were mink tracks!! And, a few paces down we also saw muskrat and raccoon tracks! So cool!! Looking up, a majestic bald eagle flew past and perched on one of the grand old cottonwood trees on the river bluff beyond fairy village. Ahh, what a magical day!
We continued down the river making our way to the village, and Orion’s excitement about the pumpkins and uncovering the pumpkin mystery grew. 🙂
We stepped onto the gravel bar “peninsula” nearing the fairy village, and as I headed to investigate the other pumpkins in the water, Orion exclaimed, “Ice!! Mom, look! There’s ice!” Wow! So cool! Even though the sun was out, it had been a very cold night and early morning – so cold that in the river’s very shallow receding waters, ice had formed around the rocks, creating a most enchanting fairy ice-skating place among “boulders”. Our eyes both sparkled with excitement and wonder as we explored just how amazing this little ice skating landscape would be for our fairy friends and any imagined or real fairy-sized creature! 🙂
After this ice exploration, we decided to first check in with our fairy friends before retrieving some small pumpkins stuck in the shallow waters nearby. Orion bounded over saying, “Hi Fairies! It’s me, Orion!” We were delighted to see the whole village still there with all the houses and fairies. And they were delighted to see us! We heard all about their ice skating adventures that morning, and then Orion promptly asked them about the pumpkins. How did they get here? Could they help us solve the Pumpkin Mystery?
The fairy kids said they were asleep but some of the fairy parents saw the pumpkins arrive in the moonlight waters at night and get stuck in the shallow pools. Orion, determined to retrieve a couple of the smaller pumpkins, waded out in the shallow water and brought two back to fairy village. As this was the week before Thanksgiving that we were there, Orion and I decided we’d leave one pumpkin for the fairies for their Thanksgiving feast and Orion could carve the other one.
Tending to our fairy friends
But first, with the very cold weather we’d been having, Orion realized our fairies needed more fire supplies, a grill and a table for sharing their warm food. So! With this realization, I gathered lots of sticks which Orion then broke into fairy-sized pieces and stacked into their newly made fire pit. He also gathered kindling and materials for tinder, found a rock table and a cool piece of bark for their grill. He was very pleased with himself and as he finished this task, he had me reinforce the stone wall to keep the fairies safe. Needless to say, the fairies were once again very grateful to Orion for all he was doing for them. 🙂
We took them on another boat ride, as our American dipper friend re-appeared also dipping, tweeting and bathing in the lagoon waters with our fairies. A beautiful great blue heron fished and perched on the other side of the river while our bald eagle friend was still on his perch in the old towering cottonwood tree down river.
The continuous flow, swirls, gurgles and ripples of the river waters over the rocks, and around the bends continued to fill us with that special gentle joy and peace as we played and enjoyed this majestic landscape and miracles of being alive in this moment, on this glorious winter day.
After the sailing was complete, Orion, always enamored with stones, saw one that caught his eye. He began testing it, throwing it down on another rock….and sure enough, it split. “Mom, look! Stone knives!” He fashioned one piece into a good knife and brought it to Fairy Village along with the boat and sailing fairies. We chose to give one of the pumpkins to the fairies for their Thanksgiving feasts, and the other one, Orion decided to carve with his stone knife.
With a little help, away he carved and soon we had two pumpkin halves and all the seeds and goo to explore :-). He had an idea for us both to take a half a pumpkin to the river’s edge, voice our blessings for the land and waters and gratitudes and then throw our pumpkin halves into the water to carry the blessings (and our sailing pumpkins) away! 🙂
As we started walking back up river at the completion of our fairy visit, we found several freshly chewed beaver sticks! And they, low and behold, were the perfect size for ninja training and sword fighting practice. Orion laughed with glee and said the beavers had told him these were gifts for him. So we thanked the beavers with joy in our hearts and planned a special thank-you gift we could give to the resident beavers. Our plan is to bring some not-yet chewed willow sticks to the edge of their beaver pond and plant some acorns for new trees for our dear awesome beaver friends.
The Heart of What Matters
So while we had not traveled far from home, our adventure filled us with Wonder. We gathered this Wonder from the exquisite life around us. We gathered it from the miracle discoveries of each moment, the beauty of our wild landscapes and the Joy of play, imagination, love and giving love to our Living Lands.
This cultivation of Wonder intimately links to playfulness, to outdoor exploration, adventure and moving through our terrains with an open and loving heart. In that way, the magic of Life which is always unfolding and emanating love, can seep into our pores and deep into our Souls. This is the Earth’s Song absorbing into and filling our Being.
As we do this, we develop ourselves and cultivate our Spirits. For in this gathering of Wonder, lies the ancient Art of truly being Alive, of enjoying our lives and letting the Earth’s song sing through our bones, our being, our eyes in all the ways we are, do and be in our world. This is a well kept secret in today’s busy society. Yet it is one our children know well. And it is one our Mother Earth, our Trees, our Winds, our Birds, our Waters and all our Relations sing and radiate out to us each day and night, in every moment.
Thank you for joining me and my son, Orion, on this special pumpkin mystery adventure that takes us to the heart of what matters: cultivating our Wonder and Joy and receiving the Great love, majesty, magic and wonder of our Mother Earth and all Life.