Wednesday, January 23, 2008

There be fairies?

While checking out the Contrariwise blog yesterday I read about Urban Fairies and how you just never know when or where they might be about.

As I have been planning to post on my other blog The Ardent Thread about Warped and Wonderful, a weaver who sells her work on, I thought this might be just the thing for an urban fairy who likes to live in comfort: a handwoven bedspread, available through her shop right here.

When I was little (okay, stop laughing, I know I'm still short) my grandmother would take us grandkids on hikes through her neighborhood on the waterfront of Puget Sound outside of Olympia, Washington. We'd wander through dense forests of old growth trees and wild flowers, and she'd tell us to keep an eye out for the forest fairies.

One summer when my sister and I asked to go on a fairy hike, our grandmother told us we couldn't go anymore. Why not? Because a developer had bought the surrounding acreage and was building houses on it. The fairies were gone. Forever. Believe it or not, that one moment stuck in my mind as the point at which I became and environmentalist. I was probably only 7 years old at the time, maybe even younger, but it opened my eyes to the idea of urban sprawl and over-development. As an adult, I've collected flower seeds from my grandmother's garden to grow in my own garden and always make sure there is a safe place for the garden fairies to live.

My grandmother, a formidable woman, passed away at the age of 94 in 1997, the year my son was born. I was living in England, tending to Old World fairies in my tiny (1 foot by 3 foot) garden and taking my babies for strolls across the nearby heath, past mounding shrubs of wild roses, eating wild blackberries or sipping nectar from honeysuckle. I was on the brink of a messy divorce, but what I remember most fondly are those long and lovely days spent out in the scrubby wilds of southern England with little children (sometimes several, including the neighbors) in tow.

These days my high desert fairy friends are under snow, perhaps dreaming of the flowers we'll be planting in the spring.


At 1/23/2008 , Blogger Contrariwise said...

Wow, someone actually read my blog! Thanks for linking to me!

Wonderful story about the fairy hikes. But easy to imagine since they were in the beautiful area near Puget sound. (We just look for corn gnomes here in Indiana.)

At 1/24/2008 , Blogger Comrade Kevin said...

If you discover fairies, would you mind sending a few my way?

At 1/24/2008 , Blogger kimono hime said...

LOL! I'll see what I can do, Kevin. Maybe a bottle of absinthe would do the trick? You know, like how you're supposed to put out beer to catch slugs.

At 1/26/2008 , Blogger DCup said...

What a lovely story of your environmentalist awakenings. I love the idea of high desert fairies. That has got to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever had the privilege to visit.

At 1/28/2008 , Blogger High Desert Diva said...

I like this post about memories of your grandmother. I just lost my grandma a few weeks ago. I'm savoring all the memories as well.
Hello from a fellow high deserter (I'm in Terrebonne)

At 1/29/2008 , Blogger kimono hime said...

Hellooooo, Terrebonne! Lovely weather we're having, eh?

Condolences on your loss. I'm glad you came by to share her memory.


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