In this beautiful area in Tennessee, walking through the woods, I spotted my first-ever yellow violet. I was no stranger to being in the woods, and had spent much of my childhood roaming them in Illinois. In all my wanderings, I had never before seen a yellow violet. My home’s yard was a woodland floor, covered with wildflowers, weeds and a small pond. When I spotted the yellow violet, alone under a tree, I squatted down to look at it, and my first thought was, “I will dig this up the day we leave and put it in my yard at home.”
And the violet spoke to me, asking me not to.
“Please don’t dig me up! This is my home! If you want yellow violets near you, move where we are, but please leave me here….”
I was stunned. I had never had a plant speak to me before, but it was a distinct presence talking in my head. It was responding to my unspoken thought.
I walked back to the campsite, told my friend and our children the story. They laughed at me and thought it was funny. Even I had a hard time believing it myself — my experience — until the next evening.
Typical of each night we camped here, we had a bonfire before bed with our children. What was different tonight were the lights that appeared. Glowing balls, tiny, silvery, everywhere.
When the first few appeared, we didn’t think much of them. As more appeared, I jokingly told the children, “It’s the faeries! See, the violet really did talk to me!” Many, many more appeared, surrounding us at a distance on all sides. They definitely weren’t lightning bugs and behaved unusually. Most of them sat there, moving little. It felt like we were in a stadium, and we were the entertainment. Some of the lights would move over to a different light, then move back, as if saying “Hi.” These were random movements, like you might see if you were watching people in the bleachers at a performance.
Except for one group. They came in close, surrounded us, around the campfire and my tent, about five feet off the ground. These ones encircled us, flying ’round and ’round. One flew over the top, joining the other side.
What had started as a sweet little pretend story of the faeries that had shown up to share our campfire suddenly felt very real. The children started crying and were scared — not because anything bad had happened, but because it was so out of their realm of normal existence. It was foreign to all of us. I, honestly, just wanted to disappear myself. Our tent was by the fire, inside this ring of faeries. My friend and her children would have to walk out, through the ring and a bit further to get to their tent. We discussed this, trying not to sound afraid and to reassure the children. I was so glad I was not the one having to walk through the circle. Jeannie and her girls got up, and walked towards the circle.
It parted for them, allowing them through.
We all went to bed, shaken, but grateful for the experience.
About two years later, we ended up buying a falling-down home on five acres of totally unkempt land in southwestern Wisconsin. My husband and I bought the land on a good feeling — a gut instinct –that this is where we needed to live, to raise our children. We hadn’t walked it. The closing was on May Day. The children and I went with some other friends to walk the land for the first time, and as we got to the bottom of the hill, under the trees, I glanced down and there was a yellow violet! The first I had seen since the one in Tennessee.
“Oh my God! A yellow violet!” I shrieked to my friends there, none who knew my story.
“Look!” Christiane said, pointing around the woodland floor. It was covered, everywhere, with yellow violets.
I had done what the flower faerie had said: I had moved to where the yellow violets lived. I knew that we had truly found our home.