The Magical Hawthorn Tree

Connect to Nature online Creative Writing Class

06.05.2020

Welcome back to another week of Connect to Nature Creative Writing. I can’t believe that May is already here! As mentioned on Monday’s Poem, this week’s class is dedicated to the beautiful and magical Hawthorn Tree. Hawthorn is often overlooked in it’s beauty, particularly when not in flower. I hope that today’s class sparks an interest for you and that you find many lovely Hawthorn varieties following this!

Hawthorn is probably one of our native trees most strongly associated with folklore and fairy tales. The following tasks will involve observation and imagination. I have included lot’s of photographs for inspiration and ideas. I hope that you enjoy the class.

Task 1: (5mins) The word Hawthorn originates from the old Anglo Saxon word Hagethorn meaning literally – Hedge Thorn. Write ten words describing the beautiful May Blossom lining our hedgerows at this time of year.

Task 2: (5 mins) In times gone by the Hawthorn has been seen as a blessing to the land that it stands on and a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Hawthorn often appears in the wreath of the Green Man and is a symbol of summer approaching. Sprigs of hawthorn were also once worn in the trim of a hat to guard against a lightning strike*. If you could use the magical powers of the Hawthorn to protect something what would you choose and why?

Task 3: Hawthorn trees have long been said to mark the meeting place of the fairies and the entrance to fairy world. It is such bad luck to cut a bloom of May Blossom or to cut down a Hawthorn tree that whole roads have been built around them. Use your imagination to describe a walk through an enchanted woodland. You follow winding footpaths through the trees, hawthorn blossom lines your way. You notice something amongst the leaves……what happens next? (Make sure to describe the sounds, scents and scenes that appear before you on your walk – there are some pictures below to help you on your way).

Nb: If you aren’t feeling imaginative focus on a woodland walk and see where your mind takes you.

Task 4: (5 mins) Folklore tells us that the fairies hang their washing on the branches of the hawthorn tree, who ever takes the blossom will incur the wrath of the fairies! This made me laugh, my wrath was incurred on Saturday when I got caught in a rain storm and all my washing also got drenched on the line! In ten lines tell me about a natural event that has incurred your wrath! Perhaps you have been caught in extreme weather, or lost a welly to some mud? I’d love to hear your tales.

For more information on the magical hawthorn I found these two great sites:

In the meantime, enjoy the May Blossom and try not to incur the wrath of any fairies out there! Wishing you many May blessings.

With best wishes,

Emma

This was taken in the allotment shed after getting caught in the rain storm – there was nothing else I could do but laugh! I may as well have chucked a bucket of water over my head!

Top photo with many thanks to Sean Garvey 🙂

  1. I saw a grass emerald moth yesterday. So beautiful. Grass Emeralds Opalescent blue wings Flicker Between Sea green stems Great…

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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