Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Fairy Bundles and Fleeting Moments

It was a warm September afternoon, and we were in the backyard entertaining friends while our kids busied themselves scurrying in and out of the house.  They hula-hooped and jumped rope and petted the rabbit and carried dolls and dragged one another around in the wagon and drew and glued and made herb potions from the garden and created habitats for creatures and hung fairy bundles from branches.  We paid half attention to their comings and goings and doings, oohing over artifacts they shared, applauding their short performances, and admiring feats of skill. 

But children leave wakes that demand our examination and I don't mean wet towels and dirty socks. I mean carefully-laid-out tea parties and Lego-Squinky-Polly-Pocket-dollhouse-furniture complexes and toys lined up outside the bedroom in orderly avoidance.  These are the ephemera we absentmindedly tidy up, trip over, and vacuum.

On that September evening, though, as I swept the backyard for dishes and glasses and wayward dolls,  I found a potted tree on our patio adorned with elfish ornaments:  coconut husks filled with cotton, leaves, and flower petals; bows tied on branches; tufts of dried wild grasses and blossoms wrapped in ribbon.  By night the breeze would blow at least one of the delicate packages asunder.  So I grabbed my camera.

May you find fairy bundles in the backyard...and magic all year long

Our holiday card this year features a photo of that backyard fairy bundle, my reminder to myself and friends that beautiful moments occur beneath our noses, and we might miss the magic if we look away (or at our phones) too often.

I'm acknowledging that "dragons live forever, but not so little boys."  That fairies fly away and "painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys."

But I also have to fight an urge to mourn the passing of days and childish ways.  Wonder, I'm noticing, is around the bend at every stage if I resolve to put nostalgia in its proper positive place and embrace the present.

This season, I celebrate the fairy bundle:  my daughters' gift of now.


Marisa Reichardt said...

Thanks for the reminder. The moments are fleeting. I can feel it.

Samantha Bey said...

So lovely! A wonderful read while I feed the baby in the early morning light and pattering rain :)

Kate said...

Beautiful post.