I’ve had two notions of a gnome and fairies in my life time. The first contact I had was with two fairies in a vivid dream. It was when I lived in The Netherlands at the time when I had just moved to the outskirts of town, close to the woods. I walked my children and my dogs there every day; I began soaking in the energies of the place, I enjoyed the smell of damp moss and of the fertile bed of the forest.

After a while I started greeting the two trees standing at either side of the beginning of the footpath; it felt they were the guardians of the land. I greeted the spirit of the woods, I thanked the Earth for letting me walk on her skin. I loved every insect flying, walking, creeping around, and I enjoyed the thought that there were small mammals hiding in the undergrowth who were waiting until I had walked past before they could go on foraging.

Soon after I’d moved to this part of town, I dreamed one night that I walked on my most favourite path in the woods. Trees lined the track and I came to a halt. At the other end of the path, two small figures, skipping hand in hand, came towards me. They were singing and shouting for joy: “She sees us again! She sees us again!”. I woke up with a blissful heart, feeling that I’ve made a real contact with the nature spirits of these small woods, and also, having made contact with an old part of myself that I almost had forgotten.

The other meeting happened also in The Netherlands on a still winters’ evening. My house was built in a way that the bedrooms were downstairs, tucked into the earth. The bedroom window was situated just above the surface of the garden. I leaned with my underarms on the window sill, my chin resting on my wrist. Dreamily I watched growing snowflakes fall faster and faster. Suddenly, my heart almost stopped, I no longer gazed at the snow covering more earth, I gazed in the face of a gnome. He was about 20 cm tall, standing outside in front of my window, staring at me. The moment we both became aware of each other’s existence, we bolted and moved away from the window. After my initial shock, I returned to the window, but I could not see him anymore, had the snow covered his footprints already?

– Karin Schlüter Lonegren