We have a wilding project taking place in woodland near our home. Bison, iron age pigs and Exmoor ponies will be moving in to help with forest management.
It led me to a flight of fancy (or fantasy) thinking about what the faery folk might need to help rejuvenate their numbers, to bring magic back into the wild spaces of Britain.
I imagined wide, wildflower margins at the side of crop fields, ostensibly left there for bees and butterflies, but much loved by the little folk. I imagined grandmother fae telling stories to the young ones about a time when there were no mechanical harvesters and they had the freedom of the fields in all seasons. Horror stories of pesticides and their effects on long, lost loved ones.
I began to imagine what I might do if I believed there were fae folk in the scrap of woodland behind my house, how I would go to collect the litter more often, or leave gifts for them by the sweet chesnut trees. I began to imagine what I could do when I am out and about in my town to help them out, picking up rubbish, dropping a few seeds here and there for birds.
I realised that much of what I would do would help the bees, butterflies and others creatures too.
I have been taught that the fae are wild things, to be treated with respect and reverence. I imagine that they have a fierce loyalty to the land and to all green and growing things. That they ride on the backs of dragonflies or finches. That when housing estates crawl, an ugly welt of scaffolding poles and concrete, over the green spaces they are enraged.
What would a faery wilding project look like where you are? What could you do in your window boxes, garden, in your street or city park to help them? What could you do in the home?
When I start to look with these eyes of imagination I see a different world, it is more hopeful, there is less red tape, and more magic. It lightens my heart and reminds me of the magic of intention and purpose. If there are small, green eyes watching me now as I type from the chesnut branches outside the window I know I would want to help their world. Which is also mine.
They are older than us, and they have longer memories. They know that now it is already late, although not yet too late.
I will begin. And begin again.