I don’t know what the woods are like in other areas, but here in Maine, it’s hard to miss that there’s something going on. Everywhere I look I see these little--and sometimes not so little--pockets or holes or caverns. They’re everywhere. Some might say they’re animal dens or caused by tree roots or other natural occurrences. That might be the case for some of the pockets and caverns but certainly not all of them.
When I come upon a large one like this, I get up as close as I can and look inside for signs. I put my face quite close. It never occurred to me that it might be dangerous to do so, until I just wrote that “I put my face quite close.” The thing is, I’ve just got to know what’s in there.
|A very large portal.|
The first thing I look for is signs of animals. Those are normal signs. I look for paw prints or droppings near the outside. I look for discarded food dregs. I look for scratchings and neat piles of unwanted earth or other matter. I use my sense of smell to try to detect an animal. If I find those things, and sometimes I do, I can chuck the cavern up to an animal’s den.
But more often than not, I don’t find signs of animals. Then I look for signs of stress. Has a tree fallen down nearby? Are its roots pulling at the earth within its range? Has a mini flood occurred in the area? If I find those things, and sometimes I do, I can chuck the cavern up to trees and other natural occurrences.
But more often than not, I don’t find signs of trees and natural occurrences. The fact is that these pockets, caverns, dens, homes, underground dwellings, portals--whatever you want to call them--seem to be everywhere. The more I look for them, the more I find them. You can call me crazy if you want to, but I know there’s more out there than just plants, animals, and insects. I can feel them. I know they’re there.
Sometimes I bring a little gift, something shiny and pretty. Sometimes I bring a beautiful marble. Sometimes I bring a little charm used for jewelry making. Sometimes I bring an old coin. Sometimes I’ll whittle something and bring that with me. Other times I’ll bring bundles of herbs or a saucer of milk or a little biscuit or some incense. I leave these things right at the opening, ever so slightly inside the dwelling.
The next time I visit the spot (I try to do so the very next day), my gifts are gone. They are nowhere to be found, unless it’s just an empty saucer. They’re not moved aside or flung elsewhere. They’re gone. I look. I check. I know. They’ve been taken. They’ve been accepted. Where they go from there, I haven’t a clue, but I can make a good guess.
And do you know? Every so often, I find something left for me, either in the same spot or near my own doorstep. Usually it’s a tiny bundle of dried herbs or flowers wrapped in a bit of soft and thin leather. It’s easy to miss. I have to really be looking for it. That seems to be a requirement, but that’s easy enough to fulfill because I am looking for it. What I am to do with the bundles, I don’t always know, but I can make a good guess.
They’re out there, the fay. You have to look for them. You have to be patient. You have to earn their trust. You have to give first. But they’re out there. Try it and see, but don’t blame me if you get more than you bargained for.