This week’s contributor story ‘Singing for the Fae’ is by Erika Ravnsborg from Magical Stories to Share.
Perfect timing to celebrate Beltane, the Gaelic May Day Day festival.
A day to celebrate life, the peak of spring and the beginning of summer.
And a day when the fairies (aos sí) were believed to be most active.
On a beautiful hot summer night, I am sitting out on my garden patio with a cool glass of white wine. Other than gardening itself, there is nothing more wonderful than watching my blooms grow. With each sip of my glass, and the floral smells hitting my nose, I find myself drifting off to sleep.
It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes when I hear the sound of lively music playing that gets a little louder as the seconds pass. My eyes flutter open and in my sleep haze, I check my fitbit watch to see that it is midnight on the dot. I look up and see that there is a bright light in the center of my garden. I get up to check it out and there in the center of my garden is a large orb of light. There is no reason for it to be there. I go towards it to take a closer look at it. As I kneel down it blinds me. I see nothing but a white light surrounding me.
“Good evening to you. I am Queen Iris, the fairy queen of this part of the world.” She says softly. “We brought you here tonight because we have heard you sing in your garden. We want you to sing at our nightly celebration.”
“But I…” I shyly say trying to think of something to say.
“We request three songs of your choosing and are prepared to reward you handsomely.” Queen Iris interrupts. “Will you agree to sing for us tonight?”
I couldn’t help but let out a big smile. “I do.”
One of the fairy men, I assume is the Queen’s guard by the look of his armour leads me down a scattered rock pathway with sweet-smelling tiny white flowers on either side. When I take a real look around, I see these giant pink flowered trees surrounding me with a smell that could either be apples or cherries but I’m not quite sure. Everything seems bright with these fairy lights like it isn’t night at all. Soon the path turns into a circle and the fairies stop following her. They walk around this circle and Queen Iris gestures me to stand in the circle. Clearly this is my place to sing.
With the fairies surrounding me, I belt out my first chorus. “All I want is a room somewhere…”
The rendition of “Wouldn’t it be Loverly” from “My Fair Lady” comes out of me like I have no control over my voice. I see the fairies sway to the song before they become these bright multicolored lights that float in the air like dancing flames. After that I see these musical instruments playing and floating by an invisible force. Suddenly, I hear some of my audience sings with me but leaving me to be the star. As I sing, I am being lifted into the air but it doesn’t frighten me. I am filled with an uninhibited joy that I can’t ever remember feeling. It’s like I am in a magical musical.
The next song, I sing just flows out me without thinking. It is “Helena Beat” by Foster the People. I’ve heard it on the radio a few times and am surprised that I remember it. Still, the enchanted instruments play on and the fairies dance around to what I am singing. The last song, I sing is “Firework” by “Katy Perry” as my finale. It isn’t such a surprise to me since I sing it almost every day in my garden. Thinking they might like it the best, I sing it out to them. After my singing comes to an end, the fairies and I have our feet back on the ground. They are no longer bright lights but solid humanoid beings again. They all cheer me on and I curtsey at them. Iris comes out of the crowd and walks towards me.
She bows her head to me and looks me straight in the eye before saying. “You have sung beautifully. Look outside your back door at dawn. We will leave your reward there.”
They all look at me and smile. Although they don’t thank me, I feel their gratitude. Suddenly that same bright light hits me again and a second later I am back kneeling in my garden over a light that isn’t even there anymore. I look around and there is no sign of the fairies ever even being there. I look down at my watch only to see that it is 12:01 AM. Surely, I was gone longer than that. I feel a little disheartened about the thought that this could all have been a beautiful dream. With a long sigh, I go into my house and go to bed.
In the morning, I take my cup of Lapsang Souchong tea and open the door to my garden. It smells just as heavenly as the tea. Before I step outside, I see a pink cluster crystal that I could not identify on my stoop. My mouth drops in surprise. Now I know last night was not a dream but a real fairy encounter. I pick up the crystal and feel that same unrestrained delight that I felt singing for them. It is a gift that I will always treasure, thanks to my night of singing for the fae.