I am walking through a very dense forest knowing well that the entry will make itself known to me. I can hear rustling in the ferns that are so lush around my legs. Small bugs fly hither and thither about. Some are firefly’s that light up and dash every which way….The different colours of the trees amaze me. There is deep green on the pines, an olive like green on some other tree's, then there are also a bright kelly green colour on others. The lengths of the limbs are stunning. Some are thick, some gently thin and yet they blend into a beautiful weave of wonder where the sun can only peak through just here and there.
There is a path, but a natural one, not marked with anything specific. There are stones here and there, but never in the middle of the path area. Along the path I see patches of wild violets with their sweet tiny fragrant flowers. I see ferns of every kind, colour and texture, they are soft against my hand as I pass by them.
I am sensing something ahead of me, a subtle knowing and yes, there they are. There is a very, very large tree ahead with a massive trunk with thick roots that curl this way and that. Just off to the left side, there is a gnome. He is dressed with brown pants, brown shirt, but a floppy yet pointed blue hat that match his sparkling eyes. He is barefoot, yea for barefoot as so am I!! His eyes have a twinkle to them, but his expression is very serious indeed.
As I approach slowly he gives me a good once over as if deciding if I am good enough to enter his realm. I am thinking about what I am going to say, and he nods his head as he has heard my thoughts without my saying a word. I stand before him, and I bow. He seems to accept this as an indication of “honor” to him and he raises his arm towards an area between the largest roots and they continue spreading until an opening appears. He hands me a lit candle, where it came from I know not. Somehow I know that he will not be going with me, this is my journey. He was there to see if who I was warranted entry into his blessed realm.
The door looked exactly like the tree trunk, that’s why I was unable to see it before. Closer now I could see little rivets of copper at the hinges. It looked so old I never expected them to open, but they did just that. The door came to a bit of a point at the top, Gothic like and was made of very old, well worn wood. It had bark on parts of it, which also had some moss on it as well. I closed my eyes, and pushed through the entry way. I was very happy that I had been given a candle as it was black as pitch inside.
I could see little dig outs in the walls following a spiral staircase that seemed to go on forever. Such a strong pungent smell filled my nose and lungs. I felt I might have trouble breathing, but that was not to be the case. As I stood there on the small landing, my eye’s adjusting finally, I could see all sorts of materials in the walls. There were roots of course, and much earth, rich dark soil that blended in with lighter colours seemingly to make a kind of mosaic. The stairwell seemed so tiny I wasn’t sure that I was going to fit, but as it is with most things magical, as I lowered myself to each step, it was wide enough, so wide in fact another could have shared the same step with me and we would have been safe.
I seemed to go down and down and down until I could see a warm glow that I was pretty sure was the base of the tree. Looking back up the stairway all I could see was the underside of the spiral, and of course nothing of the old wood door entrance. As I continued down I was fascinated by all the little creatures in the soil that made up the walls. Bugs have never bothered me, spiders a bit, but I was fascinated as in looking closely at them, they actually had faces. Now how could I feel the “wheebie geebies” at a spider when she, I think it was a she as she had long eyelashes, smiling at me?
I made it to the base and it opened up quite wide and there was nestled in this area some couches, very overstuffed and comfy looking with all sizes of pillows in every different colour and pattern that you could imagine. There were overstuffed chairs with ottomans, a few rocking chairs. There were also wooden tables of different sizes and shapes even a stone fireplace with a fire in a grate. Now how does that work in the base of a tree you ask? Well, very well indeed. There were some tea pots, cups and saucers, some biscuits/cookies on a large platter with funny little napkins. I fixed a cup of tea and decided to sit for a bit and get my bearings.
As I looked around there were several doors leading in all sorts of directions including one in the ceiling and one in the floor. Go figure! Each one was a different colour and shape. I had finished my tea and biscuits and found that I was very sleepy. I rested my head on the back of the cushion and drifted off.
When I woke up, I looked at my watch and several hours had gone by. I found that a lovely quilt had been laid over me, and my feet had been propped up on a pudgy padded stool. I had never heard anyone, nor felt anyone, but someone had surely been down here with me. I looked on the small table beside me where my empty cup and saucer were and saw a note. It said ”Welcome new friend, we have journeyed through your mind whilst you slept and find that you are a good soul and you have much to learn from us. We will look forward to your next visit and hope that it is sooner than later…fondly, the Gnomes”.
I gathered my cloak and began the climb up to the surface which seemed to take no time at all. I reached the landing and once again there was the gnome with the blue hat. He still had the stern face, but teasingly smiled and said “I bid you adieu until next we meet”. I smiled and thanked him and said the next visit would not be too long away.
I closed my eyes to once again smell and feel the pungent old door with the bright copper rivets in the hinges. I stepped back out into the dense forest knowing well that I would be back soon, for this was home to me. Deep in the earth, what more could I desire…