ABOUT FAIRY ABODE

My grandmother loved to tell of the time she took me to Ritter Park in Huntington, West Virginia, for the first time when I was three years old. The park is designed similarly to New York’s Central Park and has lovely arched bridges, ferns, and shady, far-reaching trees. She said I ran down a path, threw my hands up and shouted, 'It is just like Fairyland!' I have no idea how I knew what 'fairyland' would be like at that age, but I was doubtlessly enthralled.

All of my life I have loved all that delight the senses that could be associated with fairies or a fairyland: flight, moss, ferns, and anything gossamer. As a child I remember transplanting found mosses into little paper cups and trying to keep them alive in my bedroom. I was fascinated with hollowed out trees wondering just what kind of fairy or elf might be living there. Oh! how I yearned for a pastel lighter-than-air skirt and a tiny little waist to show it off!

Years later upon moving to Nashville, Tennessee, I came across an enchanting little fairy door and, having a backyard resembling a park, I found just the right tree to adorn with it. That led to making a little path up to the door, which led to planting tiny fairy-like plants along the path. Eventually I added a few 'fairy made' pieces of furniture and had my first fairy garden. Word got out and children would come play at the tree’s base for hours. Such fun, but it got even better!

The next year the fairies and elves changed location. I trimmed a huge boxwood from the bottom so that I had a large area for a fairy garden. I felt I should assist the garden dwellers since I had so suddenly uprooted them and spent three days making fairy establishments to tuck away in ferns and mosses which now also resided under the boxwood. I was in my element now-this new world was really abuzz.

I felt my new little world was too good not to share and began to have fairy parties. I would invite little girls on Midsummer’s Eve and tell them how the Fairy Queen comes to visit the fairies and elves. The children would help me look for furniture in the yard that mischievous elves had carried out of the garden. We ate 'fairy' foods such as acorns made from doughnut holes dipped in chocolate and topped off with a tiny pretzel stick and clear soda cooled down with ice cubes capturing frozen tiny flowers. And of course the Fairy Queen appeared in all her glorious beauty telling the children all about the antics of the fairies she encountered that day.

The fairy parties started three years ago and this year I am still engaging girls and now boys for fairy and elf parties. How fun it is that the charm is still there for the children. In a world in which children get less and less make believe, I feel privileged to share a little sense of wonder.