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The Book-  Oen's Refuge- Fairies, True Love Found and Lost, signed

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Background: In May of 1916, rowdy Frank Summers, his mother and sisters lived in the tiny village of Woolstone, in the county of Oxfordshire on the chalk downs of England. Running through the centre of the village the lane on which the family lived was dark and cool with overhanging trees that dappled the afternoon sunlight on tangled vines. Breezes were heavy with spring promise and the brook which rose at the foot of White Horse Hill and passed under the road then curtsied into a dainty waterfall not far from their house. Frank had roamed the village as soon he was old enough to throw stones at crows and play toad cricket as the old men drinking at the White Horse Pub wheezed. So when young Francis disappeared from his home one night in a foul thunderstorm it was thought odd. Someone'd have a job making off with young Frank. Gave as good as he got, our Frank. When he reappeared at the end of that summer he told his family he had gone off with gypsies. With the Great War raging in Europe and Frank's father fighting at the front, his distracted mother and sisters were disgusted at his inconsiderate nature, assumed the worst and asked few questions. Frank was home- no worse for wear and that was enough to be getting on with. But if you watched closely he had changed, even if his family had not noticed. It was there, in the back of his eyes, in his touch, in every breath lay the gift of compassion and healing. Frank, formerly terror to tadpoles and larks alike, had become a quiet refuge to all small creatures.

Many, many years later, an elderly Sir Francis Summers, veterinary surgeon, told his niece a fantastic story of that summer in 1916. A summer spent, not with gypsies, but with the Woolstone fairies. Frank's secret lay inside Oen's Refuge- a fairy house hidden in the grasses, brambles and tendrils of stream that wound between the garden stones. At Oen's Refuge he learned to listen to the rhythm of nature and to hear the voice of small creatures. Oen and his elder sister, Rowena, the faeries of Woolstone, taught Frank unconditional love that healed the wounded and comforted the lost and neglected. Finally in the summer of 1983 when elderly Frank Summers disappeared again without trace only his niece snorted at the thought of foul play. No, she had her own ideas about Frank's disappearance that the authorities refused to credence. she believed Frank had returned to Oen's Refuge-to the Woolstone fairies under the prancing white pony on the chalk hills. He had simply home, after the very long, faultlessly sensible and irreproachably responsible years to be with those he loved best.

From details Frank provided to his niece, we retraced his last journey to find and recreate Oen's Refuge- because somewhere, someone else is cold and alone in need of compassion and unconditional love. That is what Frank would have wanted.

Oen's Refuge, the book, is now available, published 10/11/2011. The book also contain Max Kaufmann's amazing photographs of Oen's Refuge.

The Book- Oen's Refuge- Fairies, True Love Found and Lost, signed

Overview

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: photography, historical archives
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