My daughters grew up always on property edged by woods, in small towns but on the far reaches of such. They were great pretenders and while we spent most summer days on the sand by the lake, they would gather mementos from the woods and bring them home tucked inside of baseball caps or sand pails. Berry brown shoulders and peeling noses (in days when the sun was still considered good for our bodies as well as our spirit) bright swimwear at the beginning of summer and faded to pastels by the early days of autumn.
I cannot see the hummingbirds and not think of them as part of the faery kingdom, along with dragonflies and ladybugs, it is a magical world that lingers.
A few summers past on a visit to Penticton’s over the top, five level second hand bookstore, I brought home a coffee table book of faery art but much of it had a kind of darkness that I didn’t love. Brian Froud’s pressed faeries and other lovelies, the old book of flower and woodland fairies, and and everyone’s beloved tinkerbell are all fairly clear images we can conjure.
Nordic myths nymphs, faeries and gnomes are beings of a different fibre, more akin to Okanagan stick people and the likes. Some beautiful, some tricksters, and you don’t have to believe for them to play with you! Something about summer, perhaps the meteor showers watched in darkness from blankets on the grass, prairie fireflies, campfire sparks all bring to mind the other worldliness of childhood imaginings, the very best kinds, the ones that do not leave the edge of grown up minds.