My comment – Very good, and sad, yet hopeful story Lorna. I like how the Lady of the Oaks is a tree and a spirit or priestess of the oaks at the same time. The imagery reminds me of pictures of the WWI battlefields where the trees are just shredded bases at the end, and yet they grow back. When i first moved here i had a 300+ year old hollow bear oak tree (there was a bear head obvious in one of its knots) that was barely alive at the top most branches. Then the gypsy moths killed those off one summer and about two years later that great oak fell, not harming any other surrounding trees by the way. It made me very sad, but then i looked around at all the younger oaks growing around it, knowing it had procreated into progeny. Now is lies rotting and i actually can scoop out some of the wonderful mulch in it for my herb garden. And i have a little shrine there where one piece still stands with a hold in it the winter sun shines through. There are a few pictures in this post https://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-fey-in-the-woods-around-me/ Blessings.
I leave the shelter of the grove ducking beneath twisted hawthorn branches. The trees weave the entrance closed behind me. Rain hits my face, falling from a heaven of relentless grey. Reading the sky’s grimace I wonder what has been seen.
A crow caws his warning. Sprinting toward me up the hollow way I see a young man, legs a blur of blue white checkers and feet a splash of mud and leather. Hair slicked to his head, his dark eyes flicker with awe and wariness. The first dapples of a beard play across his chin like leafy shadows.
“M-my Lady of the Oak,” he stammers pulling up.
His breathless chest heaves beneath a sodden tunic. It is rare for youths to approach me without an elder. Looking more closely at my gnarled face his eyes widen in dawning horror. “Bad news travels from up river. A Man of the…
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