Sylva Fae

Follow The Path Of Laughter

20150321_153422March was host to the International Day of Happiness followed by the International Day of Forests. Combine the two and you get a happy ramble in the woodlands in the first spring sun. Instead of our own little wood, we headed instead to a local forest, a mixture of dense, dark plantation (so very Darkly Wood), ancient woodland and untamed countryside. We even acquired an extra child for the adventure.

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The well maintained path proved to be of no interest to my excited brood and they skipped over the edge to the wilderness beyond. So we followed the path of laughter and set off on our own adventure. The lure of a moss covered ruin sent us meandering down the gentle slope. Running, tumbling and rolling, jumping off tree stumps and balancing along slippery logs – a woodland walk with children is anything but walking.

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20150321_151158My eldest peered through the stone portal to distant lands beyond and imagined who had placed the standing stone. While we dreamed of the tiny woodland folk who’d hidden in this abandoned ruin, hiding from trolls and fire-breathing dragons, the little ones forged ahead through the brambles and tall grasses. We paused briefly to breathe in the woodland air and marvel at the brilliant blue skies before skipping downhill to join them.

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20150321_155354The little ones ran towards the tinkling call of the stream winding down through  the valley below. Spotting reeds we called out, too late, to go around the marshy patch but the splashes only added to their fun. Following the trickling stream we discovered ponds of frogspawn, hidden from the sensible path walkers. Kneeling on the damp ground they gently stroked its surface to watch the tiny tadpoles wriggle. Careful not to disturb them we crept away quietly.

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Our journey then followed the sparkle of sunshine through the trees on the hill. Grabbing walking sticks we stomped upwards following the squeals and giggles that led the way. A clearing at the top with a scattering of stones made a perfect stopping point and a place to build a house for the local fairies. They gathered rocks and bark for their construction and little pine cones to decorate the entrance. Satisfied, they filled their pockets with smaller stones and rattled back down the hill a little heavier.

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Soon tired little legs and rumbling tummies signalled it was time for a picnic stop. We paused at a fallen tree to recharge. Then it was back up the hill in an attempt to find our way back to the car. Four mucky, muddy and tired little girls soon gazed out of the car windows at the sun setting over a forest of adventures.

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15 thoughts on “Follow The Path Of Laughter

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      We crept into the thickest, darkest patch of forest and I couldn’t help thinking of Darkly Wood. We had to stoop under branches, the trees were so close the lower bows were twisted and tangled together. I tried to be brave but didn’t stay in there long.

  1. AvatarKelly L McKenzie

    Oh how this takes me back to the dozens and dozens of similar family walks. Loved the photo of the fairy house and can just imagine the fun everyone had in putting it together. Hope it’s still there when you pop by for a return visit!

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Thanks Kelly, we love building fairy houses and in summer we make them miniature gardens too. Our rambles tend to follow the children so we never take the same route. Maybe other children will find our fairy house and create their own.

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Any time Cat, the more the merrier. Roll up a log to the fire and I’ll make you a campfire coffee while you toast the marshmallows.

  2. AvatarNeil G

    A healthy raft of comments for a beautifully written piece about being ‘real’ in the woods, the mud and stuff, as well as keeping the faerie tales alive. Thank you, Sylva.

    1. AvatarApril Rane

      Lovely- Thanks so much for sharing – each wonderful picture brings back days as a young girl spent in the woods of New Jersey. The fairy world was so magical and kind-

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