autumn rozario

Happy Solstice!
“listen, dear heart” said the bear to the child, “Listen while the forest slumbers, and all appears as in death. On this, the longest night, winter’s solstice. Listen, for something is stirring within the heart of the trees”
And she listened, holding her child’s breath as snow flakes drifted down like sugar. For within every tree, dreams were unfolding, and warm buttery light was gleaming, for spring was sleeping, stirring, dreaming.
The child nodded, she understood.
The bear and the child, curled up together. Their dreams entwining as they slept. The winter wind, and mushrooms rings, hollow trees, and crystal wings, the rising sap, and sparrows song.

The Dusters

~~Who sweeps across your book case, trailing sunlight, trailing dust? When all the lights are turned low, and children in their beds, the Dusters come a dancing and see what you have read.

Innocence and the Forest Beast, a story of the Eldritch Wood 

One day Innocence wandered out the door of her parents’ small apartment and into the forest that lay beyond. 

She called it a forest, but it was really just a stand of scraggly trees that had grown up behind the apartments and crumbling Victorian homes of her neighborhood. This wayward wood had always been a there, a tangle of cockle burrs and rampant weeds. 

Innocence began by following the stream-like trickle of rain water and runoff that had formed the night before. The water shown with the occasional smear of oil from the street as it wormed its way into the forest. Innocence followed, over crumbling brick and concrete, moss and mildew. 

She wandered past clumps of elderberries and pop cans. Past old tires, bittersweet vines, and a twisted thorn tree. She wandered so deep into the forest that the glass from the broken bottles turned to crystal and the gutter water into a river. 

It was here that she met the forest beast. 

Innocence had paused to pick some daisies and weave them into a chain, when the sunlight suddenly grew brighter, the shadows deeper. The air filled with the scent of mid summer, and around her the whispers of faeries rose.

Innocence looked up. From between two trees the forest beast appeared. He was huge and mossy, with vines growing from his fur. He reminded her of a bear, but his eyes were the color of tree sap, both kind, and fierce, and wary. 

For a moment they regarded each other. The beast and the child. Sunlight played through the leaves, pollen danced in the wind. And the moment ended. The forest beast lumbered onward, taking the summer song with him, for summer must always pass. 

Innocence watched him go without sadness. His eyes had told her they’d find one another again, and she would meet more beasts before her journey was ended. 

Copywrite Autumn Rozario Hall. 

This story was inspired by my painting and my love of the deep forests. I have long wanted to paint a series of spirit bears, and this is the first. I’m planning at lest two more paintings of innocence and various forest beasts. The Second painting with be in Penumbra Gallery’s February show The Dark One. 

Prints available here

Prairie Child

~Many people believe that faeries live in nature, but that is a half truth. Faeries are nature, the children of the living land.
My painting Prairie Child was inspired by the rolling prairies of the Midwest, praire restoration, and dreams of late summer. I hope that our sleeping prairies may one day awake to spread their black eyed susans, thistle, and wild mint across the land again.