Fairy Tales and Nature Themes
My Irish grandmother got me started early in life hunting for leprechauns, fairies, and elves. I never did see any but developed a profound love of Nature in the process of searching for them. My work is an extension of that love. I read every fairy tale I could find – those of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and the 1000 Arabian Nights are but a few. Memories of them made a walk in the woods into an adventure – and I grew up surrounded by woods, creeks, and marshes. Many of the wildflowers looked to me like hats and clothing for fairies and elves. My mother taught me the flower’s names, and how to identify trees by their bark and leaves. Those she didn’t know, we looked up. Mother loved gardening and I grew to love it too.
My interest in mythology developed later, when my mother gave me an illustrated copy of Bullfinch’s Mythology. I was fascinated by the beautiful and haunting images of gods, goddesses, nymphs, nyads, heroes, and heroines, as well as the intriguing depictions of semi-human creatures and monsters such as satyrs, centaurs, and dragons. The ancient stories gave greater meaning to every-day experiences and helped me to understand them in a larger context. This lead to an interest in comparative religion, anthropology, history, embryology, biology, and psychology – human beings never cease to amaze!
What It All Means to Me
Mythology and fairy tales are to me anthropomorphic representations of man’s understanding of, and his relationship to, Nature as he is able to comprehend and experience her, and to all the mysteries that are beyond his comprehension. The Universe is ultimately unknowable yet benevolent; we and the World are fitted to each other.