Have you ever seen a flash of light or sudden quick movement out of the corner of your eye that could not be explained? When out in nature, have you ever had the fragrance of a tree or flower hit you strongly? According to folklore, you may have encountered a fairy or elf.
Fairies, elves, and other forms of what we think of today as fantasy, magical creatures are considered “nature spirits” – they protect the flowers, trees, and water of our world. Every culture in the world has a history of folklore around nature spirits.
The month of May is especially rich with stories. Nature spirits tend to hibernate in the winter and burst forth with singing and dancing in May, as the natural world blooms and comes alive. It’s believed to be an especially good time for humans to interact with these nature spirits and celebrate the world of nature.
Keeping ancient traditions alive, a “Fairie & Elves” program last weekend at ORNC included stories, poems, and craft-making – musical shaker boxes, colorful streamer mobiles, and crowns woven with greenery & topped with butterflies and flowers. The highlight of the program was a short walk to the woods to build fairy & elf houses.
Families gathered natural materials of bark, leaves, tulip poplar flowers, twigs, acorn caps and more and called upon their creativity to assemble miniature havens. Here’s a sampling of the activity: