The woods called to me, I didn’t mean to stop that day. I was on my busy way elsewhere but as I travelled past the green gloom reached out and wrapped tendrils around my brain. I pulled into a parking spot and sat for a moment in the warm car wondering vaguely why I was doing what I was doing.
I clambered from my metal cocoon onto dry leaves covering a rutted, pitted path. Without conscious decision I turned and headed away from the road. For long moments there was silence, nature watched assessing the threat and then gradually reasserting ownership.
The leaves crunched and crumbled beneath my feet and, in the forested tunnel branches dripped leaf filtered light into pools of brightness washing the pathway. I walked on bewitched, birdsong rang and tinkled as unseen, unknown beings shushed and scuttered in the undergrowth.
The path before me became an amphitheatre walled with dark trunks, roofed in verdant foliage. Mesmerizing flickers of sunlight danced and tripped on the grass at my feet as I took my seat on a fallen log. Lethargy sucked at my limbs as my eyelids shuttered out the dappled daylight. Humming and spinning reality spiralled dizzily as I felt my body borne aloft by unknown hands cradling me in warm safety.
A singing flute invited me to open my eyes to a vision of such tenuous enchantment that I gasped in wonder. The trees were gilded, the grass a golden carpet and a diamond stream cascaded over rocks gleaming with gemstone brilliance. From the hidden depths of this magical forest a troupe of glorious beings pranced and gyrated behind a glowing equine creature of startling whiteness. Dancing and twirling they swept into the clearing, gleaming hair flowing and swaying in time to the magic music, slender limbs wove shapes in the enchanted air and ribbons of glorious colours flicked and twirled in faery hands.
Surrounding me the beings joined hands and twirled faster and ever faster until they became a humming, gyrating whole. From this spiral of wonder rose a vision, breathtaking in beauty, taller than a mortal man, slender and reed like, clothed in fabric so fine that it seemed made of mercury. On his brow was a circlet of ivy and white roses. He leaned to me and taking my hand raised me and spun with me in an enchanted waltz until my breath could no longer feed a brain fizzing with adrenalin and I fell in a swoon to the softness of the forest floor.
When I awoke I was back in the wood, my clothes were damp beneath me and I was chilled and shaky from lying in the open. I tentatively regained my feet and turned back to the pathway staggering to the parking place and worldly solidity of my car. I drove past again a few weeks later, the wood was gone, and all that lined that ordinary road was scrubland and fallow fields.
Even now I can’t truly say what happened to me in that woodland but nine months later to the day I gave birth to my beautiful blonde haired daughter, her blue eyes often seem to look out from this reality to connect with something beyond. Everyone tells me that all babies do that and it is just because they can’t focus properly but then they don’t know my secret. I have called my daughter Flora, she is named for the Goddess of flowers.