Into the Bluebell Woods

bluebells-33It's wild to think that a few years ago I had never seen a bluebell wood. My closest reference was a hauntingly lovely scene from the movie Bright Star, which means bluebells will forever be linked with the poetry of John Keats in my mind. There's a lot of things I only had reference points for from books or movies; crumbly castles I had explored in my imagination but never stepped foot inside, moors I had wandered with heart-sick heroines but only had a vague idea of what heather looked like. Now I live within walking distance of the most magical landscapes--burnt golds and rust tones in autumn, cool blues and lively greens and whites in the spring, misty purple-y hills and valleys in late summer. I feel like I can understand fairytales better when I wander through nature here. You learn which plants you can forage, how to spot badger dens, and see rabbits and hares scatter when you surprise them in the woods. This is a landscape made for stories of talking animals or secretive creatures hiding in the shadows and dancing through the beds of clover and anemone. It's an atmosphere as much of dreams and fantasy as of insects and growing things. It reminds me of the Picasso quote, "there are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who transform a yellow spot into the sun." Walking through the woods here is to see things as more than what they are; to observe with a second awareness of the tantalizing world of fiction and fantasy and realize that the veil that separates the two is only as thin as your own imagining. bluebells-42-side
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