Faërie Lore

The Path to the Open Glade

Last Autumn I published a story called ‘The Hidden Path’ which ended with Gareth and Gwenno walking away from each other through the woods. What happened to them? I thought it was time to find out. So here goes …..

S


‘Light is another story’ So it was when Gareth and Gwenno separately followed the Hidden Path into the Darkness and found Nothing… Or Nothing found them and because they were there Nothing bided her time, which was the first thing they brought to her, so when they left she was no longer alone. What did they remember – either of them – of what they found there? Nothing. And yet there was something of the trace they left behind them that each carried away, a perception of each other though neither knew it, and also of an absence that – it seemed to each of them – was now a presence. But if you asked either of them all that could be said was that Gareth wandered off his usual path and was lost for a while or that Gwenno wandered off her usual path and was lost for a while.

So each of them wandered home troubled, but also quietly elated. Each aware of a change in their lives as the darkness of Winter followed from the fading light of Autumn. Nothing had happened to them and they would never be the same again. So Winter passed. The Solstice came and went. Imbolc brought the first stirrings of Spring. There was a sense of something waiting in the woods. They always seemed so empty in Winter, without the green depths and hidden promise of Summer. But now there was a presence – something held in reserve but nearing its time. So Gwenno felt. So Gareth felt. And also a sense of something other as well as someone other. Who? Neither could say.

Gwenno went out into the woods to find the first snowdrops, the first celandines, and the green leaves that would bring the scent of bluebells to the woods. But not yet, though her thoughts strayed that way and something stirred within her.

Gareth went out out into the woods and saw the buds on the trees swelling towards the coming Summer and the blackthorn flowers preceding the leaves and he thought of the hawthorn flowers too that would follow the leaves with the warmer weather. But not yet, though his thoughts strayed that way and something stirred within him.

And Nothing? What did Nothing do? Nothing. For she was not there. But there was … Something. Something called and Gwenno heard the call and walked through the woods towards it. Something called and Gareth heard the call and walked through the woods towards it. The path was clear and led them into a glade in the forest where they met. Gareth looked at Gwenno and recognised her though he was sure they had never met before. Gwenno looked at Gareth and recognised him though she was sure they had never met before. So their meeting was tentative. Something had brought them together. A call. An echo of Nothing. And this place was familiar, though neither thought that they had been there before. They had been lost …. But now they were not lost. There had been Nothing. Now there was Something.

Sunlight filtered down into the glade as they spoke to each other for the first time and remembered what they didn’t know, felt what they couldn’t recall; and a story began to take shape around them. It would take time to unfold it. Time. That was what they had brought to this place a season ago. That was what was given to them now. Nothing was on the far side of the Ford of Forgetting. On this side the Well of Memory made a shape of the day and the stream that ran from it flowed into the world. Something was now Everything.

A pact they made then as a shadow moved across the Sun and passed, as the light of day and the dark of night met at a point of perfect balance, at the Dark of the Moon when new light waits in shadow – at this time they made a tryst to meet in the glade when the buds had opened and the leaves would be on the trees, when blossom would be on the boughs, when Spring would burst into Summer and the light lie long on the land. Summer would be theirs and they would be the Summer.

S

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One thought on “The Path to the Open Glade

  1. So the inspiration to finish this comes from the land 🙂 from nothing something and everything with the blackthorn blossoming… I think sometimes you have to listen for a clue (or ‘answer’!)

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