My wellbeing journey – The EASTER Tree Edition

More pretty tree-ness

You can read about the start of the tree journey here. If you cannot be bothered then long story short, we have left a Christmas tree up and will decorate it seasonally all year long because why the hell not. 🙂

So onto the most recent decorating shenanigans. We have embraced spring and gone full on Easter. Some yellow ribbon and plastic bunnies and eggs mostly though I think there will be chocolate eggs added in due course. If I can resist eating them all within minutes of going up.

Me and the youngest put it together yesterday and I think it looks nice. Mrs Afterwards said it was lovely and we have made a good effort and she will finesse it later I am sure. And by finesse I mean do it properly rather than it looking like there has been an Easter explosion.

So there you go. Bunnies on the tree and some pretty hanging bunnies around the fire place. It will likely be up until the end of April when we will transition to Star Wars with star wars day being the 4th of May.

Might be odd to some but hey, makes me happy!

Faeries: The long winter – Part 5

As far as she could see the dark pine trunks contrasted against the thick blanket of snow that stretched before her broken only by a dark smear of a track that wound its way through the wood just a stone’s throw from where she was now crouched. 

I had the urge to return to this.  Let’s have another part shall we.  It was only ever meant to be one part…

Faeries: The long winter

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2

Faeries: The long winter – Part 3

Faeries: The long winter – Part 4


Kostromo brushed away the snow at the entrance of the narrow cave exit and looked out across the wood before her.  As far as she could see the dark pine trunks contrasted against the thick blanket of snow that stretched before her broken only by a dark smear of a track that wound its way through the wood just a stone’s throw from where she was now crouched.

“It looks safe” she said to fox in the tunnel behind her.  Behind fox, owl and rabbit pushed forward to get a glimpse of the wood.

“We must hurry” Owl insisted flapping impatiently. We must find a place to hide ourselves.”

“All in time my friend” Kostromo said turning to him.  “All in good time.  We must not be hasty, soon this road will be filled with those from whom we hide.  We need only follow them from a distance, and we must not be seen.”

For many months now no news had come out of the north wood, and every time the Frog King had despatched his spies none had returned.  Day after day reports of strange creatures marching down the road filtered back to his caves but never word about where they headed once they headed beyond the black river.

“Dark forces” muttered rabbit.  “Dark forces indeed.”

They needed to know more so Kostromo had chosen rabbit, owl and fox because not only did they have keen sight but they were brave, they knew the wood as well as any of the animals and were fleet enough to escape should they be seen.

“Owl, take cover in the highest branches and hide yourself well” Kostromo instructed moving to one side to allow her to pass.”

Owl nodded and blinked and in a flash she hopped from the mouth of the cave and launched into the cold morning air, disappearing into the tree tops.

“Rabbit, fox” Kostromo continued, “head up the bank to the left and follow the path to the north from up on the ridge.  Stay below the ridgeline and do not let them see you.  I shall wait here until they pass.”

Without a word rabbit and fox slipped from the cave and disappeared into the snow leaving Kostromo alone in the small entrance in the side of the hill.  She should be safe up here, it was close to the road but the entrance remained obscured by the fresh snow that had fallen the night before.

After only a short while Kostromo heard something approaching from the south.  Something unfamiliar.  At first the noises were muffled and difficult to make out against the whistle of the icy wind that blew through the pines, but they soon turned to the stamp of marching feet and the clink and thud of metal on wood and leather.

She crouched low and pressed up against the side of the cave entrance, her gossamer wings pulled in tight.  She melted into the shadows and watched as a small squat creature burst through the trees and scurried along the path, stopping in the road directly across from where Kostromo hid.  She held her breath.  It was nothing she had ever seen before, the size of a badger but with a longer head and with small red eyes set deep in its skull.  It raised its h  It was covered from head to tail with thick black fur and a long tailed trailed through the snow behind it.  Slowly it sniffed the air looking about then stood quite still.  It looked high up into the tree tops and then up to the ridgeline and then raised itself up onto its back legs as if searching for something.  It was then that Kostromo noticed the rows of long sharp white teeth in the creatures blood red mouth.

She held her breath, heart beating furiously in her chest.  Surely it could not have detected them.  What felt like minutes passed as the creature stood, nose high in the air.  The noise of the thump of feet grew louder and louder and Kostromo saw a dark mass of creatures break through the trees heading down the track.

Every part of her screamed hide but she felt transfixed, terrified to move for fear of the creature spotting her.  She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to calm her mind and slow her racing pulse.  She breathed deep and slowly opened them again.  She looked out towards the path and noticed the creature was no longer sniffing the air.

It was staring straight towards where she was hidden.

 

 

 


Photo courtesy of pixabay

Faeries: The long winter – Part 4

Through the caves the frog king led Kostromo, following the light of the river as it lead ever downwards.  They passed through a small narrowing in the cave wall and she could feel the rock against her skin

I had the urge to return to this.  Let’s have another part shall we.

Faeries: The long winter

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2

Faeries: The long winter – Part 3


Through the caves the frog king led Kostromo, following the light of the river as it lead ever downwards.  They passed through a small narrowing in the cave wall and she could feel the rock against her skin.  It was warm to the touch.  The frog king saw her run her hand across the surface.

“By the light of the river and the warmth of the earth have we survived these many years” said the frog king as he hopped alongside Kostromo.  “Were it not for this place we would surely have fallen to the darkness long ago.”

The narrowing in the rock wall had lead to another large cavern, the ground flatter than before and the river now wider and throwing up more light into the space.  She could not see the ceiling but on both sides were steep craggy walls.  She noticed movement as she looked about and as her eyes became accustomed to the light she could make out row upon row of small caves scattered.

“Welcome to our home” the frog King said with a smile.

He hopped down to a small raised area next to the river and croaked loudly, the noise reverberating around the space.  Slowly there emerged from the dark caves all manner of creature and they began to make their way slowly to where the Frog King waited.

“So many creatures” she said to herself as she watched them descend and pass her.  A wood nymph brushed by her and nodded slowly.  Her skin that of a silver birch, slender arms and legs and her hair a mass of dark green tousles.

It seemed all the creatures of the wood were here, magical and non magical alike.  From high up the wood sprites fluttered down slowly, their gossamer wings blue from the light of the river.  Butterflies, sparrows, larks, dragon flies and all manner of flying creatures filled the air and around her feet there there gathered what seemed to be every creature that had roamed the forest that would have eagerly welcomed her in years gone by.

The magical creatures stayed further back, as if uncertain of her presence.  She noticed two squat cave trolls whispering to each other and a dryad looked away as Kostromo tried to catch her gaze.

“People of the forest” boomed the Frog King, his voice echoing throughout the chamber.  “We have long waited in the dark and in the cold, resigned to the long winter.”

There was a bustle of chatter and a family of field mice scuttled up the nymph to get a better view.  Though the Frog King was speaking Kostromo felt all eyes on her.

“But now, Kostromo has returned once more.  There is hope once again that spring may return to the forest.”

The Frog King paused dramatically.  At first there was silence, no creature spoke and none moved.

“Spring has returned” shouted the younger of the field mice that had earlier found it’s vantage point in the hair of the nymph.  “Kostromo has returned.”

As if released of their fears, a cry of celebration went up from the gathered creatures.  The great cavern reverberated with the shouts and calls as they gathered around her and the Frog King.

He looked across at her, his blue eyes shining and smiled.

 

 


Photo courtesy of pixabay

Faeries: The long winter – Part 3

…”Open” she cried, jaw clenched as she tumbled unsure of which was up and which down.  Her heart raced, surely she hadn’t escapade the cold earth and the wolves only for it to end like this. 

I thought I’d give this another stab.  I use it as practice really and to explore things in my head that I can’t quite get out…

Faeries: The long winter

Faeries: The long winter – Part 2


 

Kostromo tumbled through the opening into nothing, the howl of the wolves fading as she fell head over heels into the darkness of the cavern below.  With light fading fast she attempted to once more open her wings, and this time she felt them move ever so slightly as she strained.

“Open” she cried, jaw clenched as she tumbled unsure of which way up and which down.  Her heart raced, surely she hadn’t escapade the cold earth and the wolves only for it to end like this.

Eyes closed she willed them to again open with all she and this time they burst free from the icy fingers that had held them so tight, and in the blink of an eye she ceased to fall.

On gossamer silver wings she hovered in the middle of the cavern, high above her she could still see the light streaming through the opening she had slipped through.  She looked about but everything was so very dark.  Looking down she could see a feint ribbon of blue light cutting through the inky blackness.  It was hard to tell how far away it was.  Was it the Cavern floor?

There was no way she could go back out the way she had came, so slowly she began to float downwards.  Occasionally she could just make out cold rock faces here and there and as she descended silently the sliver of blue began to shimmer more brightly and she could hear the feint trickle of water.

It was a river, and as it neared she could see that it glowed with a soft blue light illuminating the area adjacent to where it ran.  Small tufts of grass, daffodils and crocus followed its path as it carved it’s way across the cavern floor and silver sprats could be seen swimming in the shallows, larger fish breaking the surface then darting back below the swirling waters.

She alighted gently alongside the river, he wings still beating slowly.  The cold seemed to have lessened, and as she stood bathed in the light of the waters she heard a voice.

“Welcome faery” it said.  It was an old voice, and familiar.

“Frog King” she exclaimed excitedly “Show yourself”.

From the shimmering waters the largest frog you will ever see emerged, his skin dancing shades of  emerald greens and golds and his eyes as blue as the light of the river.  He heaved himself onto the bank not far from her, the water cascading from the bumps and lumps of his skin.  Kostromo bowed in respect.  The frog king was one of the oldest of the woodland kings and was already old beyond memory when she was still a youngling.

“Welcome Kostromo” he said bowing his head in response, “we had all but given up hope of seeing your kind again.”

“Oak awakened me” she said as a dragonfly whizzed past her head.

“Winter has continued unchecked without you Kostromo, and for many many seasons, without your light all of the creatures have suffered.”

“But why was I not awakened?” She asked.

“When you last slept there was an awakening of a darkness that we have not seen before and…” The Frog King paused.

“What is it?” Kostromo pressed.

He looked at her with eyes that were piercing blue like the heart of an ice berg and blinked.

“Your sister was taken Kostromo, she was unable to wake you and so the winter saw no end”

“Taken?  By whom?”

“There are things under the heavens, old forces and long forgotten, that have returned child” he answered in his deep croaking voice “creatures from the darkness and another time that few of us still recall and that we had thought vanquished.”

Kostromo stood still, her head spinning as she struggled with the words of The Frog King.

“Where is Lucia” she demanded.  “Where is she, I will free her” she insisted.

“Patience fairy” Frog King cautioned “now is not the time for such things, first you must eat and rest.  We have much to discuss.”


Photo courtest of Photoparisienne@pixabay