Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My life with fairies

On a recent trail walk, light streamed through the oaks, sycamores, and California peppers at just the right slant to put me in mind of fairies.  My thoughts of the resplendent creatures drifted along on birdsong as I walked...well, at least until a blur of spandex clipped rudely through my personal space...

Do you have fairies at the bottom of your garden?
If fairyland is a place of beauty, tranquility, and magical charm, I most definitely have fairies at the bottom of mine.

My connection with fairy lore came by way of an English war bride.
Born in England in 1923, my mother probably grew up looking for woodland fairy rings and hearing stories of the Cottingley fairies.  

Image Wikipedia

Image Wikipedia

In 1917, without the benefit of photoshop, 2 young cousins pulled the wool over the eyes of some adults, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among them, with 5 photographs they took of alleged fairies. They photographed the fairies near the beck (river) close to their home.  The Cottingley fairies were talked about, written about, and the photographs were scrutinized for years.
It wasn't until more than 60 years after they artistically created the fairies, that Elsie and Frances admitted that the photographs were fakes.

Narratives about fairies and fairy rings were passed to me from my mum, along with the lore of "little people", who were responsible for taking missing items.
Mom's tales of fairies were bolstered by a large format book, which I received from my cousins in England for my second Christmas.   Beautifully illustrated, by the Swedish fairy artist, Ana Mae Seagreen, the 14" x 18" book remains a prized possession of mine.  (I bet you weren't aware that "fairy artist" is a category of painters.  I wasn't until today.)

Here I am in 1956 in fairy attire for Halloween.  My wings don't show up too well, but you get the idea.  The harness, for said wings, was made with a bit of silver Christmas tree tinsel garland, which also trimmed the edge of the wings.  I think my crown was fashioned after the fairy Queen in the above illustration.   My sister doesn't look too pleased that I am attempting to turn her into a carriage.
 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo
I must have been a combo fairy Godmother-fairy Queen.

Fast forward about 58 years from this Halloween, when I masqueraded as a fairy, and here's my vrbo rental house for fairies that might visit my garden.
The house is tiny, perhaps too small for a fairy.  But I guess their size is 
defined only by my imagination.  

Anyone can create their own fairy garden, and be transported to a  place of happy thoughts.  Fairies dance and play everyday, when we welcome them into our flights of fancy.

t.t.f.n. ~ Carol


  1. What a whimsical post, mother dear! I am reminded of a couple things by said post...when I poured brown rust-water out of my scooter's handlebar pipes and you blamed fairies for some reason (I have no idea why!)...and when Josh Haught and I would read Snugglepot and Cuddle Pie...but we renamed it...more appropriately...Sugglebutt and Whoopee Cushion. Ahh. Good times. Although I don't think Sugglepot and Cuddle Pie were fairies...Same difference!

  2. Well, when a scooter is left laying on the ground and the handlebars are on a diagonal, fairies will take advantage of that opportunity to make a water slide...you know, the enclosed tube kind. With all the sliding and jumping around they do, the handlebar eventually slips to a more horizontal position so they can't slide any longer. They then move on to zip lines: water irrigation tubing, various bits of string hanging around, Simple really.

  3. Charmed and delighted to read these words, Carol. Thank you for sharing. Sean and I have been enjoying a read-aloud in the car as we head back south from Everett. If you haven't seen his work already, I think you would quite enjoy the work of the artist Mister Finch. He loves faeries, too. (As do I.) http://www.mister-finch.com/