Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Life as a Changeling

I'm sure you knew those children, the one's that seemed somehow "different" and lost. They would often have a wild look in their eyes, appearing unkempt and uncomfortable in their own skin. When other children would be playing typical childrens games in the schoolyard, these other children would be alone having conversations with invisible friends. I was one of those children. Have you ever heard of Faery "Changeling"? The story is that the Fae don't have many babies who grow and thrive and so they steal a human baby raising it as a faery, so their race can survive. The faery baby would then replace the stolen child to live among the humans, while often times the mother would never suspect the difference.
My mother knew though. She would always call me her "changeling child". She never would refer to me as her little girl, and so I never considered myself other than a "changeling," whatever that meant. I just  thought it was a term of endearment. As I grew older I learned about these changelings. A changeling baby would cry more than other babies and squirm in their mother's arms rejecting her love. Instead of laughing and cooing as "normal" babies do, they would fret and never seem satisfied no matter how much they were loved. As they grew to be children their fae qualities became more apparent. I never liked playing with Barbie dolls or any other types of games "normal" little girls would. Instead I wanted to make faery houses out of flowers and then invite the faeries in for tea parties. Once in a while I would meet another little girl who would play "faeries" with me, only to tell their friends later how strange I was and to stay away from me. I was saved from complete misery and loneliness by my pets, especially my cats, who loved me unconditionally and never questioned who I was.

The fairies break their dances
And leave the printed lawn.
~A.E. Housman~

One day I noticed that some mushrooms were growing in a circle on our lawn. My mother told me that they were called "faery circles" and that late at night under the moonlight, the faeries would come out to play and dance. I asked her if humans were ever allowed to join them but she warned me, telling me it was dangerous for a human to even see the fae, as they would often be stolen away to live in "Tir Na Nog" the land of eternal youth. I knew this was my chance then, to reunite with the family I really belonged to and go home to Tir Na Nog. I did my best to stay awake every night when my family was asleep so I could slip out and meet the fae. I was convinced they were waiting for me. Somehow, I was never able to stay awake late enough to meet the fae. Eventually the faery circle disappeared and I sadly grew to accept that I wasn't meant to live among the fae again. 

I don't feel so alone and alienated anymore now, because I have met other changelings. They too have experienced a sad and beautiful life similar to mine. And we know one day, we will return to Tir Na Nog. Are you one of us, a changeling too?

"This is a work of fiction.  All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence.  Or lack thereof." 
~Neil Gaiman~


Willow said...

That Neil Gaiman quote is hands down one of my favorite quotes of all time. *smiles* Great post. My mother never called me a changeling, but I was always described as a strange child. I smiled only for certain people (mainly my grandfather) and would often spend hours in my room talking to "people who weren't there."

JJ Beazley said...

Beautiful, sad and soulful story. Exquisite pictures. Thanks. I never really fitted in either. Through my childhood and youth, I wondered whether I was an alien visitor of some kind. I don't let it concern me any more. And one of my favourite short stories is about getting a human back from a dark version of the little people. It's the only one that's been published twice.

Fae Kieran said...

I am right there with you on this one. I to am a Child of Tir Na Nog, and have had these experiences as well. I was always the outcast, and the strange kid only to find that being those things was anything but bad. I love my heritage, and am proud to be of the Faery. My grandda named me Fae for this very reason.

Brightest Blessings,
Fae Kieran

Rochelle said...

I would have to say I was an odd one too. I remember being put on restriction once and I was (secretly) pleased because that meant a week of solitude and being in my own little world.

BTW, I took your recommendation and bought a Lisa Gerrard CD (Best of). I take walks listening to it and feel like I'm in a movie - some tragically French romance.

Lynelle said...

Beautifully written.

luna petunia said...

Lovely, just lovely.

Jeanne said...

This really resonates with me!
This post could very well be my biography......


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