I’ve been engaged these many months in the research and writing of my new book, The Urban Bestiary (and I am supposed to have the manuscript to my editor next week!–hence my shameful neglect of the Tangled Nest this last month…). I’m finding that immersion in the subject matter of the Bestiary is bringing close-to-home nature more alive than ever. So on a walk in Lincoln Park yesterday, I saw this lovely tangled bank:
For a moment, in my mind’s eye the scene resembled something like this, Brian Froud’s painting of a similar tangle:
In the introduction to the new deluxe edition of the classic book Faeries that Froud created with Alan Lee, Froud writes that the book is, “a reminder of a world we all once lived in, when we had a connection to the earth itself. It presents faeries as they are: the spiritual personifications of the hidden as aspects of the world’s workings…They try to remind us of our emotional and physical ties to nature and to one another. They are the keepers of natural wisdom, and we dismiss them at our own peril.”
I love this notion–faeries as personifications of our own innate sense of continuity with the natural world. In this light, I wish you many Faerie visitations (call them what you will!) during this beautiful season of winter-into-spring.
(For more on the earthen complexities of the Faerie realm, see my essay, “The Thrush and the Faerie,” in my first book Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds.)