A long time ago in a decade far, far away, a little girl sat enthralled, reading her way through the Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies. She already knew that these were ‘fairy tales’… real faeries were very different; not tiny winged fashion models, but something far deeper and older. The stories were good, though and anything that lived between the covers of a book was always magical.
There were tales of missing mer-children, silver slippers and all manner of poems and folk-tales. The only poem I remember was a tale of fairy music, calling as the fairies danced in the moonlight and the only line that always stayed with me was, ‘when a ring’s around the moon‘.
I looked it up. That’s the magic of the internet, right there. As soon as memory resurfaces, our fingers can trace what our conscious minds have lost. Surprisingly, the book is not only still around, but has been reprinted. To the child’s eye in me, it holds the same magic, though the adult was a little disappointed by the poem. Except…
In and out and round about
A magic circle waking…
Whenever I have looked up to see a ring around the moon, it is as if I hear the whisper of silver bells and pipes in the night, calling me back to a time of enchantment and wonder. It doesn’t matter that I know it is ‘only’ ice crystals in the atmosphere refracting the moonlight. I find that just as magical anyway.
So, when Ani and I went for a late walk and I looked up to see the halo of light, I was listening for whispers in the hedgerows. I had already touched the magic of spring beneath the sun, and now the moon had brought fairyland and childhood back to life.
I had to reach for the camera when I got home, knowing the shot would be poor with all the sulphurous light of the distant town on the horizon, but feeling obliged to try anyway.
There were rainbows in the ring, stars dancing in the clear, dark sky and music in the night. For a moment or two, lost in wonder, the decades fell away. I became once more that child who had traced the words of a poem in a book of fairy tales… and who has never grown a day older than her dreams.