Hunting the Yule Tree

Hunting the Yule Tree

The day is silent, no birds or voices or the wail of wind, nothing but you and the crunch of your boots as they sink through the snow. You tighten your scarf and zip up your coat all the way before continuing your hike through the snowy wilderness, a small hatchet strapped to your belt. Clouds blanket the sky above, and snowflakes drift from the sky and land upon your clothing and face.

A wide field opens before you, the snow untouched, a great expanse of white, like frosting smoothed across a wedding cake. Unwilling to disturb it, you pause. Beyond it lies your destination, a grove of fir trees, their green branches in stark contrast to the white around them. The eldest trees tower into the sky, as if trying to pierce the clouds and find the sun beyond. You stand and breathe in the cold, clean air.

With cackling cries, a flock of birds rise from the grove and take to the skies. Their black wings are silhouetted against the sky as they wing away to locations unknown. Their harsh calls stir you out of your reverie, and you trudge across the field, sinking through the snow up to your knees.

As you draw closer to the trees, you spy signs of life. The footprints of birds and beast mar the snow. You discover the hoof marks of deer and tracks of what might be a fox. On a bush nearby, red berries drip in heavy clusters, pulling down the thin branches, already overburdened by ice that drips from them like crystals. A fat bird with a speckled chest perches upon one branch, a crimson berry in its beak. It eyes you before hopping away with its prize. It easily moves atop the snow, leaving tiny forked prints behind.

You tread deeper into the woods. Snow encrusts many of the trees here. You approach a small fir and give it a good shake to clear its branches. You admire its soft, fragrant needles, but this particular tree is too short for your taste.

Continuing your search, you push through into a thicker section of the woods. The trees here grow close together, brushing you with their branches. You pause among them and take in the fresh, green scent of their needles. Closing your eyes, you let it surround you. You raise your face to the sky and embrace the kiss of the falling snow. It's coming down faster now, the flakes fat and full.

When you open your eyes, you sight a break in the wall of trees. You slip through this and come to a clearing. In the very center of this space, a small fir tree grows, its conical form dusted with shimmering white. You've found it. The perfect tree. You breathe a word of thanks as you approach it, imagining it decked with ornaments and lights. This is going to be a brilliant holiday season.

 

Yule Tree is part of our Ancient Yule Festival Collection. 

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