A Real Fairy Story
Yesterday, I posted about how the path my pumpkin plant and the stone border seemed to make a path, leading down to the bottom of the garden, and I said that maybe it led to the fairies that lived there. Danielle, from A Work in Progress, commented that in the US they don’t have the tradition of fairies. Perhaps this is my own ignorance showing, but I don’t think it had occurred to me that the fairies hadn’t made it across the Atlantic!
So, I thought I’d give you my only real fairy story, as it happened to me. While my husband was still my fiancee, we took a trip up to the isle of Skye. He had worked there for a while, and I had never been, so we booked into the local youth hostel, hired a car and drove up for a weekend. As we drove, we planned out all the things we wanted to do when we got there, and one of the things that he mentioned was that he wanted me to see the Fairy Glen at Uig. I’d never heard of it, but I was keen to go and check it out! So, on the second day of our sojourn, we traveled up from Kyleakin to Uig to check out the Fairy Glen. It really is an amazing place; these strange steep-sided hills are scattered haphazardly throughout the glen, with crystal clear pools of water glistening in the small valleys. It feels like you’ve wandered out of the ‘real’ world of traffic, technology and crowds, and into this sphere of calm, where the silence is so complete that you could be swimming underwater. Over dinner that evening, we decided that we would go back to the fairy glen under the cover of darkness, and see if we could spot any of the ‘little people’. I think we both knew that it was silly, but it can be such fun to suspend the soul-crushing disbelief in which so many live their day to day lives. Anyway, we headed out to the Fairy Glen, and it was so dark. I don’t think I fully appreciated just how dark, until the car headlights were turned off, and we began walking between the fairy hills and passed the fairy pools. Pretty soon that darkness became that velvety blackness where you can’t see your hand in front of your face, and you have to keep blinking your eyes just to check that you still have them open. The silence was only disturbed by our own footfalls and, when we stopped, there was no noise at all. Deprived of two senses, I started to feel a small flutter of panic. I’m a city girl at heart, and so being outside in the dark was completely unfamiliar to me. Really in the world in which I live in there is no real darkness, no real silence. My heart started to speed up, my eyes kept straining to see some light, my ears to hear some sound. Nothing…. And then, somewhere about 20 feet to our left, someone coughed. I don’t think my body had ever experienced such a rush of adrenalin, either then or since, and, holding hands, my fiancee and I ran blindly back towards the direction of the car. Throwing ourselves into the car and locking the doors, we both looked at each other, and started to laugh. Great belly laughs which seemed to shake our entire beings and made our eyes weep. We sat for a while, until we reined our giggles in, and then we sat a while longer waiting to see if anyone would follow us out of the glen. There were no cars parked there but ours, and no-one showed up, so eventually we started the drive back to the hostel. Now, I don’t know if it was the fairies playing tricks on us, or someone out for a quiet stroll (in the pitch black?), but I do know that I’ve never ran so fast or laughed so hard as I did when I visited the Fairy Glen.