Sacred Circle of Trees

Photo Credit: Mike Ross

The poetry writing prompt I found for today asked me to write a poem in which mysterious and magical things occur. Immediately my mind drifted to our trip to Ireland in 2018.

One of the best parts of our trip to Ireland was the driver we hired as a guide. Having been a guide for many years, Tim knew some of the most interesting, out of the ordinary places to see. He tapped in to the stories I had heard or read as a girl.

Faery Stories were always my favorite. I loved the stories of magical wee folk, whether cute or capricious, bringing joy or sorrow to those around them. When Tim told us we were close to a “faerie ring”, you can imagine my joy.

Our driver explained that the faerie ring is any free-standing circle of trees. He said that farmers will not cut down the trees even if they are in the middle of field.

Superstitions are strong in Ireland.

Sometimes you get a Wishing Trees inside of a faerie circle. A Wishing Tree is a hawthorn tree where people tie ribbons to ask blessings from the local saints (or from the wee folk). The story is told that if you go into these forests today and tie a string to the trunk of the tree in the center, you will be able to “hear beyond”.

We did visit a sacred circle of trees with a wishing tree in it, and I found it eerily peaceful. This poem pays homage to that visit.

The Circle of Trees

They called and I came,
the circle enfolding me
in silence.

Listen to the hum
of the ancient rhythm.
Listen to the rumble
of wisdom.

They called again and I heard,
like whispers floating down
from the trees.

Do you know
that churches
do not house God?

We are the keepers
of all things
wise and wonderful.

We are
the storehouse
for memory.

Did you hear that?
Did you hear the whisper?

But the only voice
I hear is my own
echoing back to me;

until there on the tree,

I see my string
flickering
on the breath
of the wind.

—A Draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What would you wish on a hawthorne tree?

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