I’ve seen faeries. Not Tinkerbell-type fairies, with spikey ears and little green dresses and fluttering, gauzy wings. The ones I’ve seen are dusty, sparkly, full-of-light faeries. And that’s what they look like, from the corner of my eye – glittery clouds of colored light.
The first ones that I noticed were in my portable classroom at Fernandina Beach High School. It was after school and the custodian who also happened to be my best friend, Becca, was cleaning in my room. I stood at the front of the room, leaning on a book case when a bronzy-golden cloud scurried past my feet into the books on the bottom shelf.
“Did you see that, Becca?” I asked, backing up and staring at the bottom shelf.
She stopped sweeping and looked up at me. “What?”
“That golden cloud that just disappeared into the bookshelf.” I got on my knees to see if I could find anything in or on the books. “I think it was a faery.”
“Oh, I’ve seen them before,” she said returning to her sweeping. “But they’re usually pink clouds.”
Since this first incident, I’ve seen faeries everywhere. Sometimes they are bright colors like pink or blue, but mostly they are shades of gray. And they are always in my peripheral vision. When I turn to look directly at the fluttering colors, they scurry away.
Most people are skeptical. “There’s no such thing as fairies,” they’d say. Or, “It’s just the light, or a shadow, or a bug, or … (you get the idea).” But don’t tell that to a five-year-old. The tooth fairy is real. He was on Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause. And don’t tell my girls – like me, they still believe. We’ve even got pictures as proof.
Why do we stop believing in magic and faeries once we grow up? Does the world make us this cynical? And why only when we have our own children do we believe again (or at least pretend we do)? If we all believed in faeries and magical occurrences, the world might not seem a dark, cruel, hate-filled place. We could wave a magic wand (which, by the way, my faeries don’t carry) and make the badness go away, at least for a little while.
So, when you see me and my girls putting out honey and milk and sweet bread for our garden faeries, don’t scoff or doubt. Thank them for the beauty in the world. And look around your world. You just might see magic.