Bluebells

Where the bluebells and the wind are,
Fairies in a ring I spied,
And I heard a little linnet
Singing near beside.

Where the primrose and the dew are–
Soon were sped the fairies all:
Only now the green turf freshens,
And the linnets call.

– Walter de la Mare

When wandering through the woodlands on a spring day in England, be careful you don’t disturb the Bluebells. Their connection to the faery world is well known. A field of Bluebells is closely interwoven with faery enchantments, and faeries trap people using them, children most especially. Their ring is said to call faeries to meeting, but any mortal unlucky enough to hear the Bluebells ring will die within the year. Besides, they are a protected species in England and one isn’t even supposed to pick them, let alone trample them.

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

– Anne Bronte

I never understood all the hype, really. Until I saw them for myself one spring day. The wood I went to had pathways through, so one could wander through the Bluebells in safety (from the law or faeries, doesn’t really matter). All I really wanted to do was lie down among them and inhale their sweet fragrance, be surrounded by their entrancing colour. I wonder sometimes if the faery connection is a tale, or based in someone’s reality. Since I wasn’t allowed to make a bed of them (and really, the twigs, holly and other sharp pokey things would have made for a very uncomfortable mattress under that glorious blue cover) I’ll never know.

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