(All photos were taken by me – Brockenhurst, England)
I do believe I have stumbled into an enchanted realm. My latest adventure has found me staying for a month in Brockenhurst, England in a charming Bed & Breakfast that can only be described as something out of a fairy-tale. Magic has been found. Boring realities have seemed to disappear for a time. Instead I have found ponies wandering the moors, secret forest paths, owls calling in the middle of the night, fairy lights, and yes…even a unicorn.
Gather round and ye shall hear of faire Melissa’s adventure in enchanted realm yonder…oh I’m sorry, did I just wander off into Old English? I seem to find myself doing that here. (Ha!)
Well, it began when I stepped off the train in Brockenhurst. Awaiting my ride, I heard my name being called and then an older woman dressed in a flowing scarlet scarf with long silver hair came flying around the corner. She looked somewhat like a harried elf who seemed to be out of place at the train station. She belonged in the forest with the other magical folk. This lovely elf turned out to be the owner of the B&B. Sue (such a prosaic name for an elf) picked me up and proceeded to give me detailed instructions on how to find my way around this little village out of time.
When we arrived at Broad Oak, I looked up at the charming old house and was drawn to the dormer attic window. No surprise that it turned out to be The Enchanted Garden room where I am staying the month.
I soon met the other elf in residence, Michael, Sue’s husband. He was so very gnome-like with his white, curly hair and mischievous grin. This couple simply had to be elves taking on human form – the resemblance was uncanny.
Upon settling in, I discovered that the room was as whimsical as the name. Fairies hiding in plants, birds flying across the ceiling and vines growing over the walls. Little lights in the cutest of places and of course, the dormer window thrown wide to let the fresh air of the forest into the room.
I leaned out the window to look at the large, ancient oak spreading it’s branches over the entrance to the road and I began to feel different…more alive. I slept deeply that night and the next morning, as I awoke in my very soft bed, I felt bubbly and excited.
What new adventures awaited me? Was I Cinderella waking to birdsong in her attic and sunlight pouring through a skylight? Was I a princess awaiting her prince high in the Tower of her castle? (Well, a middle-aged, slightly grey-haired and chubby princess…haha!) Whatever it was, the enchantment of this place seemed to be working its magic on me.
Even on a walk just around the “neighborhood”, I found a mesmerizing secret path covered in arching tree branches and vines.
A moor that spread off into the distant mist…
And yes…a unicorn! As you can see by the pictures, the unicorn (disguised as a New Forest pony) looked up at me as I stopped to look at him off in the distance. I tried to get pictures of him without scaring him off and so tiptoed closer.
As I was taking my pictures, an acorn from a large oak dropped on my head! I laughed and looked up. Had a forest fairy just dropped the acorn on my head to remind me of the time? I turned back towards the main path and as I did so, the unicorn must have decided I was a kindred spirit and came to me! It even posed for me as I took a picture! (Of course, unicorns will do this when they know you are a friend to the enchanted folk.) I reached out and patted his nose as a thank you and made my way back to the beautiful fairy house in the woods.
I have learned a new lesson…fairylands, magic, mysteries and romance are simply a state of mind. They are as real as you want them to be. The other night as I was strolling the streets of London, I realized I was lost (as tend to happens there) and wondered if I could find my way back to my hotel. Then I swear I heard my mother’s voice speaking to me in my mind, “Follow your heart and the magic will find you.” She was right…it has and continues to do so.
Was it her that shared that piece of wisdom with me? Why not? How is that any less magical and miraculous than the everyday fairyland I have wandered into? ‘Tis not, I say! Thus closes Chapter 1 of faire Melissa’s adventures in Broad Oak. Will there be more? We must await and see what fate holds!