“Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace”. John O'Donohue

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Who believes in faeries...?

...more people than will own up to it I think!

We have all thrown coins in a fountain, or glanced in a pool and seen coins scattered there, or seen rags and ribbons tied to a "clootie" tree, maybe even tied one ourselves. This ancient tradition of making wishes honours the wee folk that, in our magical hearts -  if not in our logical minds - we all want to believe in.

On a walk in the Yorkshire Dales at the weekend, we came across a number of tree roots and fallen trunks with coins pushed or hammered into them in captivating patterns. Although I have been aware of this practice, this is the first time I have seen one of these trees and I was filled with delight that people still make wishes, and - even if they don't outwardly acknowledge it - still want to keep magic alive.

The first set of trees was around Malham Cove, an ancient limestone waterfall ( now dry) with an underground stream emerging from its base and a haunting landscape of limestone pavement on its top. A truly magical place. A place where Elves might dwell.

Malham Cove - Jude Murray 2013

Coin Tree - Malham Cove Jude Murray 2013

Limestone Pavement - Malham Cove - Jude Murray 2013
Our walk also took us into real faery territory to Gordale Beck and  Janet's Foss, a waterfall (foss or force) behind which the Fairy Queen Jennet's ( hence the name Janet) cave was supposed to have been hidden. the Beck runs through an atmospheric limestone gorge carved from ice age glaciers. In this magical place we encountered many more coin studded trees. Offerings for the wee folk?

Coin Tree Gordale Beck - Jude Murray 2013

Coin Tree - Gordale Beck Jude Murray 2013

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