• Personal Essay

    Rites Of Passage – Part 4

    By Gaia Woolf-Nightingall Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 “If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometimes come to someplace.” -L. Frank Baum The dark skyline of frenzied trees bowing and swaying in the quickening winds was my first vision of the Forest of the Glen of the Downs, Co Wicklow. It was the early evening, the twilight hours, and I had just walked the four-mile road from Kilpedder, where sat the first organic farm in Ireland, my place of work. It was a part of Ireland that was imbued with an old-world rural charm, a feeling that Dublin city, only an hour’s drive to the North, could no…

  • Personal Essay

    Rites Of Passage – Part 3

    By Gaia Woolf-Nightingall Part 1, Part 2 An idea formed in my mind, I needed to leave a piece of material on a tree branch as a gift, and so, I ripped a piece of what was, in all honesty, a random piece of cloth from the dress and tied it around one of the lower branches of the tree. As I did so, I gave thanks to the spirit of the tree for guiding me to this sacred and beautiful place. Now, as is the case with any tale worth telling, the news of Fionnuala’s and my discovery began to spread. The land itself was owned by a wonderful…

  • Personal Essay

    Rites Of Passage – Part 2

    By Gaia Woolf-Nightingall Part 1 In my dream, I had envisioned a little wooden chalet, and flowing adjacent to the chalet, winding off into the indiscernible distance, was a small, clear stream. From its source flowed out a vibrant little Spring, gently rising up from the ground in the likeness of an ancient water Goddesses, in-state and awaiting an audience. At her head grew a gnarly ancient Elder tree, which kept a careful watch over the court. With my dreaming eye, I had drawn closer to the Spring, and as I did so, and without warning, up from somewhere deep within the Elder tree at its head leaped, a dark silhouetted…

  • Personal Essay

    Rites Of Passage – Part 1

    By Gaia Woolf-Nightingall “Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!” -Lewis Carroll. I was always fascinated by the elemental forces that whirled daily around my body. The sting of the Winter winds, as they whipped past my cheek, the cool touch of the Spring rains as they poured down from the sky and soaked through my long hair. The healing warmth of the Summer Sun and the gentle caress of the Earth beneath my feet. These were the things that filled my childhood with joy. The Elements were my friends and my guides as I traveled, far and wide, on daring and intrepid adventures, through boggy cornfields…