This Is What Reenchantment Looks like

“The Naiad,” by John William Waterhouse, 1893. Not based on real life.

From the Dark Mountain Project (see sidebar on main page), this: “Keepers of the Spring,” by Caroline Ross.

And with my ears ringing, and something between a sob and a giggle in my chest, it occurred to me that it is nothing like it says in the books. When the old keeper of the holy well passes on the sacred task of protecting the waters, there aren’t any capes or bells or dancing cherubs or goblets of wine, nor any ceremony beyond the unselfconscious, convivial oversharing that ordinary Dorset people recognise as good manners. As I sat, sweaty and scratched, in my baggy army-surplus trousers, I remembered all those Pre-Raphaelite paintings (which I secretly loved as a teen, and still love, despite myself) full of adolescent pale naiads, surrounded by their long, untangled hair. And I thought, Dante Gabriel Rosetti and J.W. Waterhouse would not be at all impressed with my scant bleach blonde ponytail and lack of flowing robes.

Anyway, one contact lens is sitting right, and it’s making my eye water, so I have to go deal with that.

2 thoughts on “This Is What Reenchantment Looks like

  1. What lots of doing magic is. Helping waters and other vital energies to flow.
    Thanks for pointing to this account.

  2. Pitch is right on target.

    I’ve been planting trees (I have 22 more to plant) like crazy on my small 2-acre property while the neighbors in and around my “community” are selling their farms like crazy (there’s one nearby at about 60 acres) and putting up those “McMansions” right next to each other. The space between those houses aren’t even 60 feet! Yikes! In about 100 years, those places will be considered “slums” just like in Philly where the mansions of the late 19th and early 20th Century are now considered to be the area where “low class” (i.e. black folk) live. (This is not my opinion, but the opinion of the average white Philadelphian).

    Obviously, the “good christian” Scot-Irish German English around here are more interested in money than taking care of the land they stole from the Cherokee.

    Sigh.

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