Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wee folk .... summer's goodbye

My Mantel Faeries
On my mantel we will usually find something seasonal. I am working to start the tradition that my son (even though he's 25) and I put out seasonal things to celebrate our beautiful world. After the bunnies go away in April or May, we set out the faeries! He has given me so many of these that it seems to be his favorite! Here you see a few. The center rock is really a magical candle with little trinkets embedded. The tiara was given to me when I "retired" as a celebration. The theme was "Queen of Quite a Lot" so the tiara was lovely. I received many fairies as gifts then, and the art teacher made me a set of gossamer wings and a wand.
Most of these little girls are from my son. I notice he goes for the cute, kinda sexy fairies. That's okay. I love them all.

Presiding over the fairy folk is my lady of the sea, looking for her sailor. She never fails to make me smile and feel so sympathetic with her life... We spend a lot of time "looking" for things, for people, for events, for successes. I wonder what she sees when she finally turns away from her search and heads back home. I hope it is a sweet cottage with loved ones to cherish and a cozy fireplace crackling--- and the place aglow with candles, the tiny kitchen nurturing a warm, buttered, bread loaf in her oven.
And on the end, my wreath with my tattered wand lying in the heart of the circle. I'm sure people wonder at this old, cardboard thing, stapled, frayed, more than old.... feeble perhaps, but.... there's a story behind it, for my heart and my mom and dad's.This is a magical wand. I owned it from the days of grade school, the only remnant of a fairy dime store costume I wore at Halloween for possibly my fourth grade year. The mask, the blue stencil star apron--- gone to the burn barrel, but NOT MY WAND!!!! I was fierce about that, I recall. This wand was my pass to what I wished to imagine. I slept with it, flitted about the house and yard and creekbed with it, read with it as a bookmark, crushing the handle flat between the pages of my Gene Stratton Porter books. It was occassionally abandoned in the cluttery darkness of my toybox (thus the tatters increased.) I noticed the sparkling foil curling around the star, so I hauled out my mom's trusty stapler and fixed it up. Finally, just like Jackie Paper and his magic Puff, I decided I was too smart, too old, too "with it" for this old thing. I think much of life had lost its magic as my heart turned to stupid boys and the lack thereof in my life. Anyway, I decided to toss it into the kitchen trash. Out went my sweet daddy to burn it, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw the empty trashbin. What had I done? You don't know how many other little wands I've purchased through the years. Some for little cousins and neices, others for myself, always lamenting my REAL one burned so long ago. About five Halloweens ago, my daddy and mom picked me up to go have supper in the car at Sonic. I was sitting there in the back seat of their Buick munching on those heavenly onion rings when my dad turned to Mom and said, "Did you tell her about her Star Stick?" My what? They laughed and said he had found it in the garage, tucked behind a stack of things, long ago salvaged by a dad who didn't want his little girl to be THAT grown up. He said he remembered shaking his head at my "sacrifice" of my personal treasure and saving it until I'd grown up a bit. It had to be thirty years, but I was sooo thrilled to take this back and tuck it in my fairy collection. I should have known it would be my dad to save the magic for me. He always has, and he always will.

11 comments:

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Oh my gosh that is an amazing story about your wand! What a nice dad! Your son sounds pretty sweet to!

Terri and Bob said...

I love your wee folk and the mantel is a perfect place to display them!

sheila said...

...my first smile of the day came at your story :)

CasablancaLily said...

Oh this brought back so many memories for me too. My dad also made me a magical wand for a 6th grade Christmas play. What I would give to have that wand magically reappear. It was beautiful and I was so amazed at his creativity. Thank you for a forgotten memory!!

Julie said...

That painting (or print) is so beautiful! I love the feeling I get when I set out my beloved holiday/seasonal items as well.

GardenGoose said...

very nice! the painting is so very pretty too.

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

I just love your fairy mantel and the wand story is so sweet. It made me think of my daddy, he was the keeper of all things magical and poetic for me as well. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

Dena

IsabellaCloset said...

Gayla, The faries are adorable..I LOVE your sweet wand and the story behind it. You have such a way with words. God bless your Father for saving the wand/star stick for you. You have such beautiful memories..Take care. ~Mary~ :-}

Anonymous said...

I had a fun (yet very teary) time re-telling this story to Luci in the car last night. In fact, we talked a lot about you. I even re-told her the story about the old man and the letters from the war. Though I could never tell it as well as you, her reaction was perfect. She would have made a great student in your creative writing class!

Anonymous said...

Gayla, I just discovered your blog (linked from another), and I've been reading everything. You are a gifted writer. The posts about your dad, especially this one, made me cry. My daddy drowned in a boating accident when I was only 10, and it's only been in recent years I've come to realize how very much I have missed him. What sweet memories you have! I wish you well this year with teaching (my husband is a teacher), with your mother, and with getting your shop in order. Desert Lady

Gayla said...

Thank you to all of you who posted comments through the summer. To the last person, anonymous, I don't know how to send you an email, but thank you so much for your kind words. You all have been so very sweet.