Cailleach hair

Head bowed down to inspect the mole hills, I walked to the gnarled old Oak. It said

If you keep looking for the humans, you’ll miss the Sidhe

Looking up, I saw Cailleach hairs of long, thin and tangled grey, caught high up on its bark. Too high for a woman to have reached, too far from any path to have been a chance catching. This is faerie hair, I knew.

I didn’t touch it. To eat the food, or to take anything from a Sidhe is to be taken from them for years of our time, when only moments may pass in their world. I didn’t want to chance it and miss the kids’ growing. Anyway, what if she had a sacred task to fulfill? To gather all her stray hairs and to weave them into a cloak for her enchanted lover, to free him from a terrible spell and to let him smell the pure, clear air of freedom? How could I dare to take a trinket for my windowsill and rob someone of completing such a terrible and arduous, vital task, simply for my spiritual vanity?

No, that hair was too precious, too doom-ridden to bear taking. It put me in mind to not take anything I didn’t need for my own task, for who am I to rid anyone of their own sacred work? Sacredness does not exist purely for my gratification; others weave cloaks that I have no business in meddling with.

I jumped over a wall and climbed up the bank by a waterfall. I sat down on the soggy ground; lying back the rain tickled my lips. Rumble of waterfall, cold ground, chaotic drips on my face, slowly I disappear into senses and input, no more me. Roaring, dripping, warming. Tickling lips. Roar. Drip. Peace.

A sheep skull covered in green, except white teeth. I put it on the wall I jumped.

The Sidhe are an ancient race of Irish mythology, the faerie race. Pronounced shee, they live in a parallel world to us, one that we can access any moment, by entering into ring forts or by accidentally stepping over a veil.

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