There’s a clearing in the midst of a certain forest where trees stay still about a little white cottage that seems to protrude out of the earth itself—a natural grotto of a dwelling hidden away from the distracted eye by Nature itself and the amount of leafy arms and hands and fingers of trees and branches and lichens in which it is sheltered.
Birds of the forest find their home among the epiphytes and vines that form a living shag carpet over the roofs of this little cottage—enclosed as it is in a fairyland of moss and strange plants that hang from its roofs and walls like fringed curtains.
There the swallows and sparrows have their nest, and little feathered creatures arrange their collection of treasures which, it may include, a bright blue feathers, snail shells, beetle wings and flowers and anything else which might take the bird's fancy and which may include some precious treasures such as a silver spoon, a diamond hair pin, a sparkly cameo brooch bathed in topaz and rhinestone, seashell buttons and other colorful scraps of material, all property of its owner.
And thus, if you happed to walk pass by this little white cottage in the wood, must probably you would thought it to be yet another cluster of trees, and just another place in the forest where the wild mushroom sprouts from fallen logs and the vegetation grows in excess. Only the whiteness and light which seems to grow from the very insides of this little cottage would give its secret away…
It is a house indeed. And if you dare go inside you’d immediately sense the pudgy scents of herbs and natural remedies lingering in the shadows. All it takes is a gentle breeze to let you know that the anise hyssop has been collected that morning. Perhaps too recently. The fresh licorice scent is unmistakable. You know that both the flowers and the leaves are perfumed and edible and thus, you can guess that someone had fought her way through the bees that are drawn to the licorice in number earlier that morning for the pure pleasure of a sweet cup of Anise hyssop tea. The fragrance of the tea is still delightfully intoxicating.
As far as you can tell, no one is present in the little white cottage right at the moment. Yet, you know you’re not alone. You cannot be too oblivious or too insensible to the empowering presence surrounding you. For indeed, a presence bigger than all your fears and bigger than all the shadows that may fall across your path moves freely about the cottage and hovers over everything; somehow, comforting you, reassuring you. And you feel impelled to keep studying your surroundings.
You see the bundles of herbs hanging from the beams to dry—basil, borage, catnip, mint, nepeta and lemon balm, and over there a rustic table filled with baked goods; jams and sweet buns and cakes, and there are some lovely decorated bowls in sapphire blue holding thin crepes and an assortment of dense, sweet tea breads.
On one side of the table, a mortar and pestle with freshly ground herbs laid side by side some ancient looking books, as if perhaps just before you came, someone had been engaged in preparing her concoctions?
Fragrant oils, dyes and waxes for the preparation of candles, flowers and herbs are strewn across the table, seeming to be processed slowly for the coming winter.
There’s something magical and warm and comfortable and dreamy about the place. And you have the strong sensation of having been here before. You love every detail—the scent of herbs lingering in the air, the shadows warming the humble adobe, the nostalgic charm, the vases of roses withering in their water. And you realize now that whoever lives in such peculiar place must also possess some of that same remarkable peculiarity of her home in herself and soul. And she must be out somewhere in her forest collecting her herbs.
Should you leave the cottage now and run as far as you can from it and never come back, or linger a little longer and fully capture the magic, it's all up to you…