I was recently privileged to join in a procession of the Fey--behind no less a personage than the Queen of Fairies, as a part of her entourage. This doesn't happen to a human very often, and certainly not often to elder humans.
Old people remind the Queen of decay and death, things she does not allow within her realm, her realm which is eternal--ever-green--as they say. She and her subjects do not age; they are forever young and fair. Therefore, to sing to her and walk beside her people was a great honor for this old woman, definitely a bucket list item.
(Not to say I've never danced with the Fey. I, in the days of my youth--back in the now legendary and generally misunderstood sixties, back when I was young and fair, I participated in her rites--rites which raise energy, and all that naturally follows after, those encounters in the dark scented forest, where all celebrants channeled Venus and Mars. Never mind, it's all back of me now.)
The Fairy Queen is a lover of high fashion, of flashing sequined quirks, tinkling bells, supple bare flesh, bejeweled dresses woven with spider's web. She even loves kinky boots, so her devotees wore them too.
Her entourage was more than ready to indulge her every whim, and upon this high magical occasion, they certainly pulled it off. I wore the best dress I had, long sleeves, flowing in mauve, in blue and green. A generous member of Her court gilded my cheek with a star. I braided my long white hair and carried a wand taken from the Holy Laurel. At first I held an inspirational leaf between my lips, like the Delphic Priestess.
The Queen of Elphame, by Fuseli
Oh, how these fairies shone as they walked, fairy lights and fairy dust around them, making music with their sweet voices, a procession through twilight, following the glorious Queen and her tasty Year King! Beguiled, I followed after. When they began to sing, I took the laurel leaf from between my lips, lifted my laurel wand and had the pleasure of joining my still true voice with theirs.
And what did we sing in our ecstasy--again and again in an endless spiral--but one of the songs which captivate mortals and carry them into a realm that is fickle, cruel, and totally enthralling, a song which the fairies will sing even as the silver flash of a sacrificial knife pierces their own cool fairy hearts:
We shall be free
We shall be free
And make love--
Won't you come with me?