I was wandering again. Aside from the Big Events, this year, I travelled the Great Faire mostly in one disguise or another. It was fun, and somewhat easier, as I was not in a mind to deal with other beings overmuch, and frankly, there are plenty of other Fae Queens at the Faire: my celebrity is mercurial, just like me (and just like them!)
There was no better place to wander this year’s Faire than Wandering Woods. And although as Wandering places go, it was rather orderly, what makes a place is not always its stunning architecture, or its defining features; no, what makes a place is the light.
Yes, the light. Wandering Woods, faded now into the mists, might as well have been an ode to the colour blue. Now, I know many Faery Queens fancy purple, and many others like metallic golds and silvers; still others prefer the darker blacks and reds. Me, my favourite colour is and has always been blue, even back when I lived out a seemingly ordinary human childhood in the London of a world I can no longer see. Despite my astrological affiliation with Air (Aquarius is an air sign; I have never understood that, but then I have little use for 5th century astrology, and I won’t bore you with cosmology here, but let’s just say it doesn’t carry a lot of weight in my spiritual world). Wow, Gwyneth, that was a long parenthetical. Why don’t you start again? Despite my astrological affiliation with Air (No! No cosmology! Don’t do it, girl!), I love water and would surround myself with it if I could. Tangentally (she’s doing it again!), I have exactly zero interest in being a mermaid. That makes me think that I am somehow Different, but then again, it isn’t as if my life has had the sort of trajectory anybody expected when I began it only about 30 years ago (by my reckoning).
But where was I? Ah, yes; I was in Wandering Woods. Now, Friðrós wrote about Wandering Woods, early-on in the Faire; in fact it was the first Faire Realm she visited, and she was all wide-eyed and excited about it when we spoke on FaceTime the next day. But what she was describing seemed to me in many ways to be your typical Elfin Realm from Dayes O Yore. I know it shows my privilege that I might even be able to consider that Elfin Realms might be “typical”, but bear with me. Friðrós, you see, is from Iceland. The Huldufólk don’t get off their island very often, as a rule, and so Faery there looks very much like Iceland itself, meaning it is full of beautiful mosses and mountains, but not so many
Tolkeinesque (find a better word) buildings and (I’m only guessing here) maybe more artic foxes and fewer examples of Stately Statuary. She did go on about the height of the trees, if I recall.
Of course there is some Stately Statuary, but more interesting to me was the sky above it, the ground cover beneath it, and how the buildings themselves seemed to bridge the gap between earth and sky with their almost Gothic roofs and spires. The Realm boasted tall flowers, truly blue grass, and of course some of the best shopping to be had at this year’s Faire. Elves are very good at shopping, which should surprise no-one.
I know I say this every year, so repeat along with me: what makes the Fairelands so magical is the juxtaposition of so many Realms so close together for the short time we can visit them. You can see the two Realms of Isles of Tarrin and Somniatoris Arx behind me in this photograph, filtered through the beautiful blue light of Wandering Woods. I think there are no more beautiful vistas in all the metaverse than those we see from one Realm to the next in the Fairelands.
Friðrós has of course told you about the many spirals in the Realm, but she missed out what was surely my favourite place: a shrine to the Forest Goddess that you’d miss if you didn’t look closely.
There’s a feeling of serenity throughout Wandering Woods, but I felt it here the most. In fact, there was even a place for people to come and sit, read, meditate, or write.
When a docent engaged it, a set of magical furniture appeared. She explained to me that one of the many Fairelands writing groups met here for the duration of the Faire. I was curious. I knew there was a literary festival that ran at the same time as the Faire, but even after all these years, I hadn’t known there were writing groups that met here! I think I will visit some of this next year.
Wandering Woods was one of those places I went back to again and again during this Faire season.
I’ll miss it.
Notes & Credits:
Wandering Woods, one of 21 regions in the 2021 Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire, was designed by Kilik Lekvoda and sponsored by Titans. I am sorry to say you can no longer visit Wandering Woods. The Fairelands disappeared into the mists on the 12th of May, and next year’s Fairelands will have different regions to explore.
I should also leave a special note of thanks to Kilik Lekvoda for inviting the Milk Wood Daily Dash and half hour Snatch groups to meet in Wandering Woods. Kilik, you gave us a beautiful place to write, and I’m so thankful. If you don’t know about Milk Wood, it’s a writing region owned by Harriet Gausman and funded through the donations of folks who attend the many writing groups, seminars and other events that take place there. The Daily Dash happens every week day at 6am and 6pm SLT, and the Snatch happens at 8am.
What’s Gwyneth Wearing?
- The Beautiful Faery dress is featured at Enchantment. It’s Dreaming Thicket’s Fairy Ring Dress.
- The Stunning Skin is featured at Enchantment. It’s Lumae’s Amesha in fantasy tone Gossamer.
- The Pretty Wings are from MishMash Fusion. If Mystie hasn’t put these out in the MishMash Fusion Main Store, IM her until she does!
- The shoes are from Mosquito’s Way. They’re the Raisie leg wraps.
- The Butterfly Hair is from Phoenix, and it’s called Leslie.
- Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya Lara mesh body and a Lelutka EvoX Avalon mesh head.