I am a whimsical child. I read fairy tales long after I should have left them behind. I like the quirky and fantastical. I adventure with hobbits and walk with elves, dream of dragons and strange, gnarled creatures living among tree roots. I learn things, too, from my reading and dreaming, and one thing I learn is the names of flowers – all from Cecily Mary Barker and her Flower Fairies, a delight.
Today, years later, as I walk around the grey blocks of the industrial estate where I work, I am reminded of those books by the gaudy yellow gorse flowers flaunting themselves in the hedge. I grew up a northern girl, a townie, and didn’t really understand the old saying: “When the gorse is out of blossom, kissing’s out of fashion”. Gorse flowers were summer holidays, seaside and moorland. Now I live in the south-west, where there is a constant taste of salt in the air, and I know that if you look hard enough you’ll always find a speck of gold, scented with coconut ice, like a kiss of sunshine on a winter’s day.
Flower fairies fling
Bright painted songs on the breeze,
Dance fragrant dances.
This is, of course, the Gorse Flower Fairy, by Cecily Mary Barker. I know you know her work. And this is a haibun for dVerse, where Lady Nyo is keeping the bar, and surely serving up Shirley Temples. She’s asking for childhood memories.
This is a little bit of a cheat. I decided that this year I would try and keep my haibuns really and truly in the here and now, and use them as a bit of a record of the year, so a childhood memory as the first haibun of the year was a bit of a shocker! However, the gorse flowers I came across the other day made me think of that old saying – that I discovered in the pages of the Flower Fairy Alphabet. I am REALLY good on English flower identification, thanks to CMB.