A Fae Gift (1994)

(Above: Stock photo of view from Kalalau Lookout)

(This is part of my personal history series; posts are NOT in chronological order, but you can search the blog via the “personal history” category)

I have always had an affinity for a Fae vision of the world. This viewpoint asserted itself most strongly in my 29th year, as is recounted here. 

A couple of decades later, I met a woman who was likewise touched by Faerie, and we stayed together for some years. At the same time, we were avidly studying and practicing Neopagan ritual techniques.

We took a trip to Hawaii, including Kauai, and took a tour to the heights overlooking the famous, mysterious Kalalau Valley. We had been warned that the lookout point is foggy more often than not, but it’s worth a try.

We arrived at the lookout point to find a couple of busloads of tourists crowded around the railing, gazing wistfully into the fog, hoping for a glimpse of paradise.

(stock photo)

We are averse to mundane crowds (or throngs of muggles, in more modern language), so we stepped back.

We are witches, surely we can work a bit of weather magic and get at least a brief view, we agreed. We moved away from the crowds, past the parking area, a bit up the ridge. There was plenty of open, unused space to cast a circle and do our ritual. We called upon the Fae for a favorable glance, an open sky. Then we returned to the viewpoint.

I got my camera ready. (This is in the 1990s, so this was a film camera, of course. At that time digital cameras were still awkward and expensive).  Sure enough, in a few minutes, the clouds parted, revealing a spectacular view. Words, even photos, cannot do justice to the magical atmosphere of this valley, especially as seen through this break in the mists that surrounded us. I had time to take two pictures before the window spiralled shut again, as neat as a camera shutter.

We took many more fine photos that day, from beautiful sights all around the inner highlands of Kauai, but there was no question that the Kalalau view was the climax of the day.

In due course we returned home to California, and sent the film (a roll of 36) to the lab for developing. When it came back, 34 frames were perfect depictions of what we had seen. In some cases, actually, better than what we had seen, because the zoom lens revealed details in the landscape that I couldn’t discern with my eyes. The other two frames—the two shots from the Kalalau Lookout—were completely blank.

A Fae gift indeed! “Okay, we let you see it,” it seemed to say, “but we won’t let you keep it!” Like Faery gold, this kind of gift cannot be brought back to the mundane world.

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