I will be the first to admit that I often give the excuse that I am too busy to do what my kids want, especially when it involves going into the woods to see a “secret” fort, deer stand, or “special” rock. Not because I don’t like my children or am anti-nature, but I don’t always find joy in the trees or rocks that my darlings do and the matters in the house seem much more pressing. (The stick-tights and cockleburs are also on my list of unhappy things, and they are bad right now.)
This past weekend was no exception. I was not particularly excited about following my son down his “secret” path to see his “deer hunting” tree or his “special” hidden fort. Something told me that it meant more to him to share than it did for me to fold the laundry or finish the dishes. As he lead me into the woods, my 9-year-old chattered like a squirrel in a tree about the way he and his friends had discovered this place and how cool it was. His happy chatter was welcomed, as he has been in a bit of a funk lately unable to find kind words or pleasant things to say to his siblings or I.
When we arrived at the “deer hunting” tree, I saw a dead, dried up evergreen. What my son saw was an opportunity to sit up high, watching wildlife, with ample branches to share the spot with his friends as they “hunted” deer. I asked if the branches felt like they were going to break and he said, “No. They’re good. I know which ones I can stand and sit on.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll fall?” I asked.
“Nope. I’ll just catch another branch if I start to go down. There’s plenty in this tree.”
He was so secure in his answer I had to smile. As nimbly as a squirrel, my boy scampered down and said, “Come this way. Over here is my secret fort.”
I know that 2020 has been a year of discomfort. And that’s not okay, but in reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, I was kindly reminded that some of the greatest opportunities for growing and learning come from uncomfortable situations.
When speaking to her students about vulnerability and shame, Brené warns them ahead of time, “If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and your’re not learning. It’s going to get uncomfortable in here and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s part of the process” (Brown 203).
This warning made me smile because it reminded me of the supply lists for incoming students to my English I class. After typing up and printing the nice, neat lists, I would carefully (in the scariest handwriting I could muster) write “FEAR” in red ink at the top of each list.
You can only imagine the delight I experienced in seeing the eager faces and ready hands grab at the waiting lists from the holder outside my classroom and then the quick flicker of surprise as that word“FEAR” registered in their already-panicking minds.
Often when I mention my blog, people tune me out. That’s okay. Many times when I invite people to read my blog, they smile and say, “That sounds cool, but I don’t have time to read,” and then they tell me about something else they read on Facebook. It’s okay.
If you don’t read my posts, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.
I write for myself and for those who do need the messages I compose.
I write for the opportunity to share my experiences and the lessons learned in daily events.
I write for other educators and farmers. We have the toughest careers there are. Someone has to get our message out there.
I write for the moms and dads who find joy and frustration in the role of parent and hopefully provide comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our parenting struggles.
Fairy Garden and Dudenhoeffer’s Countryside Gardens in Frankenstein, Missouri. You need to check it out!
I have never had my own fairy garden but I think I need one.
When visiting our local green house, Dudenhoeffer’s Countryside Gardens in Frankenstein, Missouri, my kids were enthralled with Kathy’s fairy garden. I have seen and read a lot this summer on fairy gardens. It is really kind of interesting.
People will turn just about anything into a whimsical space for frolicking fairies. I have seen the Tinkerbell movies and I know how they are supposed to work in a child’s mind, but have not taken the initiative to create one of my own. (My daughter has different plans.) 🙂 One of my future goals for our flower beds is to spend time with my kiddos creating their own fairy gardens. It will be fun to see what they build or create and what they thing the fairies will like.
I have seen where old milk crates, chairs, dresser drawers, and even toilets have been turned into a play place for the imaginary creatures. Some fairy gardens have waterfalls and flowers. Others are designed around rocks and succulent plants. Most all have some sort of cabin or cottage for the fairies to rest. All have something fun and exciting for the winged wonders to check out. The detail and color that can be found in these tiny hideouts is so exciting. But I guess the thing that really makes them impressive is that, aside from their small-scale, someone dedicated a great deal of creativity and inspiration into building the sweet spaces.
I really think I need a fairy garden so my imagination, along with the fairies, has a new playground.
Imagination is alive and well in fairy gardens. Imagination is something that too few of us exercise enough. A fairy garden may not be your cup of tea, but this summer I encourage you to find something that stretches your imagination. Give your creativity a work out. Try a new hobby, visit a new town, check out a concert or poetry reading, take an art class, or design a webpage. Everything you need to start your whimsical workout is inside you. It shouldn’t take much more than some faith, trust, and pixie dust to get things going. 🙂