There have been recent stirrings at the entrance to the fairy and gnome house at the base of
an old camphor tree I often walk past, quite deliberately, in fact. The tree, and many others like it, is located in a very special park full of flowers and gardens, to which I am frequently drawn, and which was my haven all during the worst of the pandemic.
It is an area graced with many tall and ancient oak trees, with some massive Shumard oaks, which are very unusual for this area. During recent Autumns, they have turned brilliantly red and gold, again, quite a rare sight in our warm, coastal U.S. location.
All in all, the park is not only a beautiful oasis in an old section of the city, but a tantalizingly mysterious one, also. There are times when I am wandering in it’s shady groves when I feel as if I could be in the English countryside, so old and sheltering are the many trees which adorn this place. It is a spot you can easily imagine is inhabited by little creatures quite unlike us.
A little over a year ago I posted an entry about this one particular tree, which has an opening at the base that had been painted yellow and decorated with some unusual markings.
Being curious, as usual, about whether I’d spot anything out of the ordinary at the base of the tree, I discovered to my delight and surprise a camellia and a geode, which of course, was split in two to reveal the miniature crystal cave within. To me, the opening or crack in the “door” could quite possibly lead to a small underground habitation, or perhaps to a place deeper, larger or stranger. One’s dormant childlike imagination can surely be rekindled when looking at this tree, as it has so obviously been singled out as special by some person, or some otherworldly creature.
That was in the Spring of 2021. Nothing had changed until a week ago when I noticed a piece of paper and a note in what appeared to be a child’s handwriting. Actually it wasn’t really a note but a few words, a pink heart, and the Yin/Yang symbol. At the bottom of the note was written, For You. How curious. How enchanting.
Being an “adult” and somewhat desensitized to the possibilities of magic that come with growing up in this day and age, I confess I have, in the course of the past year, failed to leave my own note or little gifts for the wee denizens of this magical land with its year-round flowering gardens and towering trees that I often look up at and photograph. Perhaps I’ll have to part with that miniature wishing well, a prized keepsake because sometimes I am jostled out of the real world and enter, or at least become somewhat aware of, this kingdom inhabited by fairies gnomes, elves, little unicorns, or tree spirits. They are mostly hidden and invisible, but maybe I venture there very late in the day, just after sunset and after a refreshing rain has left glittering water droplets on the flower petals. And then I just might see them.
Yes, I must make that visit soon.
April 2021: a camellia and a geode split in half to reveal the miniature crystal cave within.
Early June 2022
The tree and setting:
Old camphor tree and tree spirits:
The camphor tree is native to Japan and Korea, but has been planted in many parts of the world. It’s oily leaves have many uses, including medicinal.
Japan’s largest hardwood, the camphor tree.
My April 21. 2021 entry, for background: