One summer day I was walking along a path that winds by the river. Stepping into the woods always transferred me to a different state of mind. Alert, listening, smelling the aroma of growth mixed with decay. The trees were a vibrant green, whispering among themselves as I strolled by. I finally emerged at the location that opened to the Black River, leading from the woods down to a narrow rocky path. I am always afraid I will lose my footing but this has never happened. I emerged into the sunlight which I welcomed with a smile. As I strolled along the rocks, I started to hear music. A sound that I can only describe as being played by instruments made of leaves, sticks and other nature items found in the forest. It was beautiful and uplifting. And I knew – though at the time I was not a Druid – that this was the work of the Fey, or in ADF terms, the Nature Spirits. I have been blessed with numerous interactions between myself and the Fey, many of which that were very fascinating and sometimes unnerving. They are memories I will never be able to forget.
Not all nature spirits are embodied by small beings in humanoid form. There are types of Fey in a broad range of manifestations; no two are absolutely alike, just as not two Humans are perfectly identical. Some of these beings, however, are spirits within trees, or blades of grass. They embody everything within nature, and for me this includes furniture and wooden items in the house, or fabric which is made from natural ingredients. I try to harbor a sense of gratitude for such items, blankets that keep one warm, wooden bookshelves that house treasured books. Even books themselves carry a soul, in my opinion. We still rely a great deal on Nature, and should acknowledge this, while always having a sense of appreciation.
I have a fascination with the Tuatha de Dannan of Irish lore and mythology, which was taken into consideration when I chose my hearth culture, the Celtic Irish. It is said that they originated in the sky and arrived to Ireland in a fog, which was the first of the invasion myths. It is said that after they were defeated, they went underground in the sidhe to become the many Fairy races. I have trouble making sense of this, as there are many types of Nature Spirits. I can only guess that they were shape shifters. However, this only covers the Nature Spirits Ireland, and not the types throughout Europe. I intend to do further research on this topic and will see where it leads me. One must only believe and have an open mind and heart to work with these beings.