My husband purchased my Celtic earrings when we were visiting Oban a few years ago. And the earrings reminded me of a story told by the bus driver as we toured around Mull on our first visit to the Scottish island.
He slowed the bus and pointed up a hill to the tumbled down ruins of a stone cottage. "A man died there," he said solemnly and proceeded to tell a story. The man worked on the roads. He had to clear away weeds and bushes from the roadside where a small rowan tree had taken root. He pulled up the tree and tossed it aside.
"Fairies live in rowan trees. If a rowan tree is cut down or ripped up by its roots the fairies escape into the world and will wreak vengeance on the person who dared to disturb them." The driver pulled into a layby to let a bus go past.
"Two weeks after the road worker killed the rowan tree a huge rock crashed down the hill, smashed into his cottage and killed him." The driver turned to his passengers and said. "Never cut down a rowan tree. It will bring you bad luck."
When our son and his family moved into their house in a town north of Toronto, there was a mountain ash tree growing in the corner of the back garden. Rowan trees and mountain ash trees are similar. I told Martin and Alana the story of the rowan tree and the fairies. They took the warning to heart and eighteen years on and counting the mountain ash tree remains in their garden.
My family has Celtic roots in Scotland and my husband's family, Celtic roots in Wales. So it's not a stretch for them to believe in fairies. As I do.