I got on Pinterest yesterday to do some planning for my daughter’s upcoming birthday, and got derailed by more than one marvelous board devoted to fairy tale”ish” art. And I honestly had little heart palpitations, as I spotted “just one more” beautiful post about 30 times. When I was younger, I used to collect art cards. I still have books full of these cards pasted in, although the glue has turned yellow. I also have binders of magazine pages full of “home” inspiration in storage. When my sister discovered Pinterest, she told me it was made for me. Both I and my maxed out storage thank her. All the years of collecting images like stamps now seems as irrelevant as square desktop computers or enormous cell phones, but Pinterest has restored to me the simple joy I used to take in collecting the beautiful things that inspired me. I live now in a place full of dust and desert, and very little natural beauty. It is easy to forget that we are made for beauty-that it awakens some joyful center of our souls.
I came across a post titled “Micro World, Vermicules and Other Little Critters” yesterday as I wandered father and farther away from my original Pinterest search, and I was literally without the words to say how much it affected me. It is an ode to the glittering, jewel tones miracle of the smallest creations around us-things that seem impossible and hyper surreal when you live in a dry, sand colored city.
As I was looking through this board, as amazed by each subsequent image as the one that came before, I got a giggle thinking about my daughter, and her sincere belief that of COURSE unicorns aren’t real (everyone knows that!), but fairies are. When you look at this world of tiny beauty, it seems almost impossible not to believe in something as marvelous and inevitable as a fairy, tiptoeing in there among the jellyfish shaped mushrooms and the iridescent frogs.
Just take a look at the creepy Caterpillar Curl…
or the tiny jello colored rainbow frog,
and tell me a fairy isn’t more pedestrian than these? As Mr. T would say, “I pity the fool” who doesn’t believe in (at least the possibility of) fairies!
The same goes for UFO’s-another supernatural entity my daughter is not so on board with. I love the logic of the 9 year old who leaves gifts on her windowsill still (she’s almost 10!) for the fairies, but is quick to pish posh the existence of aliens and unicorns. Now, I am not defending the existence of unicorns (because we all know they’re not real;) BUT I do think that if you’ve ever seen a snowflake through a microscope, or pictures of the creatures that live in the deepest parts of the ocean, denying any possibility of what could exist in the vast universe is vastly more foolish than my daughter, leaving thimbles of water out for fairies at night.
I live in the farthest north of Chile on the border of Peru, and one night last summer when the moon was the fullest of the year, we drove with friends to the highest hill we could reach to see it through a telescope. I will never forget that while we were there, I saw a light appear in the sky on the opposite horizon, bloom into a mushroom shape and disappear in a moment. “Did you see that?” I asked a kid sitting next to me. He did. I told my husband, who is from this city. He just shrugged and said “people see that a lot out here.” We live with mystery, but do we live with awe? I hope my daughter always leaves the window open to possibility, and that she never loses her sense of whimsy-because their is so much on this planet that is real and straight out of a fairy tale.