A Ring of Apples
…….as I was searching through the hoard of clutter in my cellar at home I found a book from my childhood – a small hardback tome with a red cloth cover and a beautiful embossed border, its design weaving tendrils around the spine and onto the back – in the centre of the front cover was a ring of five circles with five-point stars at the centre of each of them, but, no title! I recognised the book, felt that uncanny wave of excitement you get when a long lost heirloom of your innocent years returns to you, brings its utter star blessing magic back to the child within – the adult child exalted, but, no title on the spine either….
…..this is one of those moments that everything seems to wheel around – I opened the book at random and read…..
‘the ring of apples – its called ‘The Ring of Apples’ – now why do you suppose it has that name?’
‘….it is because it is about the soul’s journey….and where starlight comes from’, and, wrapping my black speckled shawl around my shoulders, I set off on the mossy forest path, silent of footfall.
All was still, with a soft luminous glow of moon-light filtering through the listening trees, showing the way ahead….”
The chapter ended with this mysterious scene – I quickly turned the page
“The Book of Stones and Bones” a new title page announced – strange, I don’t recall this at all, a book within a book, and yet….
over the page is an illustration in rich but faded watercolours showing the cover of a book that is bound in carved bone with leather thongs for the binding. It bears the title announced on the previous page, but, nothing else – the book is resting on a bed of leaves into which are woven subtle patterns and, yes, there are small faces in there, and words, or the fragments of words – …oodbin…., thornber…, honeysu…, dogrose, these seem to be flower names or perhaps
….laughter echoes across a timeless star spangled field of frost covered clover, a crescent moon winks from between the dark twisting branches of circling oaks – and there is music, silvery and otherworldly….
Is that it – they’re names of the forest folk, the woodland spirits – what is this book…..?
Quickly turning to the front of the book something falls from between the pages – I bend down and pick up an apple seed – and then the dream dissolves into daylight……