A Short Tale of A Fairy Ball & Fashions for Valentine’s Day

Today is the Valentine’s Day Fairy Ball. There are several Fairy Balls a year, usually held outside, but due to inclement weather, tonight’s ball is being held in the Great Hall. Though buried in snow, the entry to the hall has been cleared and dressed in their finery, the attendees are gathering to celebrate, exchange Valentine cards, and dance the night away.

There will be party foods – wild mint teas with rose infused honey, warming citrusy tea from sorrel leaves and Douglas fir needles, cookies made from hazelnut flour and dried huckleberries, and a warm stew from dried mushrooms and the roots of many plants, seasoned with wild ginger. This is fairy food, they harvest what their plants willing give them.

This is the door to the Great Hall. It is deceptively small, for inside is indeed a great hall. With a warm fireplace, torches to light the way and hearts hanging from wooden beams, it is a cozy place for the ball to be held.

Tree Fairy (you may remember her from my December post),  is not a socialite, she prefers the company of her beloved trees, but she does love her fairy friends, so donning a fancy cape and hat she set off for the ball. Her little seed fairy friends are helping her take a string of hearts to help decorate the Great Hall. 

One of the many flower fairies, this fairy in pink, decked out in stilettos and ruffled pants, is ready to dance. She loves to dance! I wonder if that rose bud is for a special Valentine?

So am I going crazy? Telling fairy tales? No to both. (Well, maybe a little crazy.)

I started making plant mandalas in spring 2016, a creative sideline when harvesting herbs, flowers and wild plants for medicinal or culinary use. Soon mandala making expanded beyond harvest times. During the winter holidays that year I started making angels, and then my “stone faced flower girls” showed up, a descriptive, but not very poetic phrase, so they became fairies. Not fairies by the conventional definition, most have no wings, and none are impish or tricksters.  The simplest dictionary definition I’ve found for fairy is “a small imaginary being of human form that has magical powers, especially a female one.”  That best describes my fairies.  They are forest spirits, little beings made from that which they love – bits of plants, stones, seeds, etc., and who live in and care for Nature.  Some can be stubborn, ornery and protective when their beloved plants and trees are threatened, but they are generally gentle, kind and loving. They don’t interact with people much, preferring the plants they care for. Besides, they are busy enough with their work. They do love people who come to the forest, or a garden, to appreciate their plants and trees. They are especially fond of children and will show them the magic of nature and help them if they are lost in the woods. They can be found anywhere in Nature, from a tiny garden on the corner of a city street to distant forests in the mountains.

“Story” lines about each one come to me as I make them, their personalities and bio emerge as they do. Like the mandalas, making them is an unfolding process with no predetermined concepts. The results usually surprise me (and sometimes frustrate me.) Unlike traditional fairy tales, my short one or two story lines have no villains or heroes, no moral or life lesson, and are not  “dark”, as many fairy tales are.

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Another fairy dressed for the ball. For her fairy job she wears all leaves, but she made a pretty petal top for the ball. Oh, and her very special shell purse contains Valentine’s for the Valentine’s exchange.

Fairy tales go back thousands of years and were (are) written with an intention. They are tales with a purpose – to teach a lesson,  a moral code, etc.  Most the earlier tales were not necessarily written for children and because they often reflect the values and social attitudes of the times and/or author, they may not be useful or even appropriate as stories in today’s world. There are modern fairy tales, especially in the movies, and there are some classic and timeless tales of old. (see links below to articles about fairy tales.)

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Her card in one hand for the Valentine exchange, a torch in the other to help her find her way home, this pixie fairy is off for a night of celebration! She is beaming with love tonight for everyone….including you! 

Any tales that emerge with my forest spirits are simple whimsy, the only intention is to make you smile, or laugh….or think I’m crazy.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY  from the fairies…and me!

A few previous  Valentine’s posts:

Nature’s Hearts

Animal Love

Valentine’s Day

The Love Story I Never Knew

To view more of my fairies check out Flora Mandalas. Or visit my Instagram page.

Interesting articles about the history of fairy tales:

Where Do Fairy Tales Come From?

True Stories Behind Classic Fairy Tales

Tree Fairy Tales for the your holidays…..

A little Tree Fairy kept me grounded through a month of windstorms, power outages, health challenges for both Mike and I,  and the usual “what do we want to do about Christmas”.  I shared her through a series of stories on social media. For those who do not interact with me on social media, I want to share her here and hope you find her to be a bit of delight in your life.

She and I wish for you Happy Holidays! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Hearts!

Tree Fairy came to me with her little potted tree, which I offered to decorate, but she ONLY wanted candles, no other decorations. She was VERY particular!

I don’t argue with fairies.

The next day she comes back and wants me to decorate a big deciduous tree, saying they’re the ones needing color in winter and mumbling something about people decorating conifers, already green & pretty.

I told her the Alders and Big Leaf Maples here were too tall to decorate. She gave me a cross look. .

I decorated an alder for her.

Tree Fairy loves her trees but can be very grumpy about people.

On December 9th I told Tree Fairy about Worldwide Candle Lighting Day. She became very sad thinking of young children who have died. She doesn’t tolerate adults well, but she loves children, helping them when she can.

She went and got a very large candle (for her, she’s only 3 1/2″ tall), then left to go into the woods to light her candle and be with her beloved trees.

She too has lost many loved ones this year. .

She told me the souls of all little ones who die, of any species, go to a beautiful forest in a heavenly world. I don’t know how she knows this.

Tree Fairy did not return until Friday when she came to say Happy Solstice! In good spirits, she looks forward to the coming light, knowing her beloved trees will appreciate the longer days, some already budding in anticipation. She brought some friends (not sure who they are, seemed rude to ask, I believe they are tiny seed fairies). .

She’s returned to her trees, we’ve had wind storm after wind storm, she wants to help those who got hurt.

She is happiest amongst her trees, she said come visit wherever you go to be with trees. She loves people who love her trees.

Those that don’t. Well, a cross fairy has her ways…….she is a warrior!

To see more of my recent and seasonal botanical creations check out page two of “Flora Mandalas”

May Day Reflections & Poetry in Fairyland

Yellow & Red Cowslips, Forget-me-nots, cranesbill, wood hyacinths, a white narcissus & a velvety maroon primrose make up my rain drenched May Day nosegay.

Was hoping my muse would awaken this morning with inspired and eloquent words about May Day, but transitions in Mom’s life requiring increased care have tapped my creative energies, so I share a poem written by my Dad. I shared this on my old blog, but it is worth repeating, for it is a lovely poem from a man not known for his poetry, but who had a poet in him.

 

 

Spring Rites

Come, come High Priest of Spring,

Come to this sanctuary, following a path

looking like a caterpillar waking up, the last tip of a fern frond unfolds.

Lit by pale rose and white wild bleeding hearts

Held aloft by leaves of green lace;

Come on a carpet of coiled fern fronds

Interwoven with the dark green of succulent nettle tips;

Come under the vaulting arches of red alder

Whose twining branches out waited winter to greet this time;

Fill your breast with perfume

Floating down from a million bursting leaf buds and

Rising from a million more life forms

Stirring in the rich moist earth;

Be bathed in cloud filtered sunlight tinted green by emerging leaves;

Listen to the chorus from a thousand pulsing frog throats

Providing backup for robin soloists marking territory boundaries;

Come, it is time, as you have for centuries beyond count,

To bless the life cycle renewal of yet another spring.

1993, Harry Hubbard (1919 – 1998)

 

lacy leaved wild bleeding hearts tumble out of the woods into our backyard, already starting to set their seed pods.

My Dad, moved by the same fairyland that leaves me in speechless wonder each April & May, describes the unfolding of spring on our little patch of northwest woodland.  The carpet of wild bleeding hearts, hidden Trilliums, emerging leaves of Vanilla Leaf, False-Lily-of-the-Valley, pink Salmonberry blooms, clusters of white Elderberry blossoms and yellow Oregon Grape, and lush, bright yellow-green new growth everywhere creates an environment begging for visions of sprites and faeries.

Even in my Mom’s yard in Seattle yesterday, as I picked her a big bouquet of her favorite pink lilacs and blue wood hyacinths (a favorite of mine, which she has in abundance!), I could feel the magic of new life not just unfolding, but bursting forth with color and energy! I’m quite certain, hidden in her tiny yard, dense with tall, mature, flowering bushes and beds packed with perennials and tulips, there are fairy beings reveling in a yard minimally maintained by an occasional visit from a gardener.  Well into her 80s Mom tried to garden, but pain and fragility required hiring someone.  At 91, her garden fairies reward her for her past care with perennial blooms brought into the house. She LOVES flowers, it is a well-earned reward!

complementing the fairy plants in the wild is this patch of cowslip in our garden.

Happy May Day to you all……..may there be a impish harbinger of spring hidden in your garden today!

 

(You can see photos of some of the woodland flowers I mention on my Wild flowers page.)