Before I was old enough to work in the cotton fields I sat at the end of the rows and played with the other small children. One of our favorite games was “rabbit”. We tore cotton seeds loose, leaving them covered in just a bit of white downy fiber, and pretended they were rabbits. We dug elaborate tunnels and burrows for our rabbits and I made up wonderful stories about them. We created rabbit families and rabbit towns.
I always had a vivid imagination. It kept me occupied and also helped me escape the more unpleasant aspects of my life. Once I heard book stories and saw television I expanded my own stories to include fairies, elves, and other little creatures. I was captivated by the idea of a little world beneath our own. There were several places in our yard where I walked carefully so as not to ruin the elf homes. My first written story was about an elf named Lucky. The ten-page tale was written in the fifth grade. (No my memory isn’t that good- I still have it and I looked at it this morning!)
One of the treasures at my grandmother’s house was a “winter scene” made from glass and a mirror. The flat mirror rested on the coffee table and the little glass trees glued to it gave the illusion of an ice pond in the winter. I found it absolutely mesmerizing and imaged all sorts of things going on in that little world. My elves didn’t like winter, but I imagined that they did their best to endure it, just as I did.
During our recent trip to my niece’s home, her daughter Jocelyn showed me her “fairy house” tucked away in the corner of the garden. She has created an adorable little world for her tiny friends to visit! I promised her that when I returned to my garden I would make a fairy house, too. I have started, as evidenced by the photo below, but I will have to work quite hard to make it as inviting as Jocelyn’s. Her fairies leave her gifts! I’m not sure mine will be so generous.
I suppose my love of such things as fairies is one reason I enjoy kindergarten so much. Imagination is the spark that keeps us young. It keeps us from succumbing to the dull repetitions of responsibility. Imagining something better also helps us solve the problems of the world. “What if” is a powerful tool I learned from children.
Thank you Jocelyn for reminding me that the world is a magical place. I will work on my fairy house again this week!