I believe I have wasted a lot of time over the years trying not to look silly. I have no idea why because I was not raised by especially serious people. My Grandmother could be silly, and she was a very important part of my childhood until her death when I was 17 years old. I was a serious child and to this day I have a very hard time being silly. As I’ve gotten older though it seems as though “mystery” and enchantment have popped up again and again and thus it has been unavoidable.
One of those is the Elf Shoe. Its mossy, its leather, its very small (perhaps size 4), and its one of my favourite things. Tim when I came back from our “leave taking” in the fall of 2010 had it sitting along the garden beside the driveway. I think I might of actually squealed when I first saw it. I don’t tend to, but ITS an ELF SHOE. He had found it in the woods the week before. Tim had a gift for seeing what other people didn’t. It always amazed me.
Later on that week I was relating Tim’s discovery in the woods to our neighbour down the lane …..well don’t you know the woman has an Elf Door, with a step she made. Mrs. S’s husband is a retired Prof and I would have thought therefore immune to silliness. I swear when she told me I really couldn’t tell if she was serious or not. Truly, I to this day have no idea if she really thinks an Elf Lives there. My first thought was that woman must be either fantastic at Poker or she’s gone dotty. I played along though, I told her, “Well tell your little guy I have one of his shoes”. She nodded, and smiled and walk along her way.
Now it is hard not to go looking, maybe just a wee bit, after you’ve found an Elf Shoe. Oh, now that’s just silly. In a way though I do believe that many of these Gaelic legends of fairies & elves are no doubt similiar to the Native American Manitou. They are part of the “Algonquian religious belief, a supernatural power that permeates the world, possessed in varying degrees by both spiritual and human beings. A deity or spirit”.[The Free Dictionary] Author Charles DeLint often intermingles the Gaelic legends of the Irish & Scots with the Native beliefs.
When I went to bed last night, I kept going over in my mind where I was going with this post. When I woke up this morning at 4 AM (now that is silly) and couldn’t get back to sleep I decided why not. So on that note…..last year (2011) on Mother’s Day I found my very first 4-leaf clover. It was growing inside the little makeshift greenhouse we made from scrap lumber and an old window. Then later in the summer of 2011 I found another. Then this last summer I again found one, but this time at Tim’s Dad’s place.
According to Wikipedia “such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.”
Silliness has certainly not been a defining aspect of the last year. Yet, it has not been absent and I am learning how to suspend my rational self and embrace my sillier side. An old family friend, more like an Aunt, sent me this note on facebook last week.
I looked up gull… as in the gull that circled us as we gathered in the cemetery… “Seagulls are spiritual messengers that demonstrate that a higher communication with guides is taking place. He shows how to see above situations with a higher clarity and teaches that there are many perspectives to consider. Seagull shows a sense friendship and community and the cooperation that is needed for the whole to operate successfully. He teaches how to ride the currents of the mental, emotional and physical worlds. Are you going with the flow or fighting it? Are you cooperating with others? Are you open to your guides? Seagull can teach you many lessons of looking, living and being. It is time to listen and watch for the nuances and timing of action.” [A Light in the Darkness]