Its a warm autumn Saturday, the breeze is gentle and it rustles it way through the leaves of the near by trees, children’s laughter can be heard as they play on the equipment nearby. And there sitting on a hill under a tree is a single fairy perched on a blanket playing soft notes on a small pan flute as she stumbles her way through a non existent melody. Adults throwing confused and judgemental looks at her as they give her a wide berth. But then something magical happens, someone not so scared of what others will think spots her and their eyes light up.
“Look a Fairy! There is a fairy right over there!”
The exclamation causes more eyes to turn and children start to see her too. Their eyes lighting up with wonder as they stop what they are doing and immediately beeline for the lone fae under her tree….
I get asked all the time why I do what I do. Whether this is from confused adults who think my bubble isn’t quite centered or from teenagers and children who are so in awe that they have just met a real life fairy at the park or a mermaid at the beach that they want to know why I am out there doing this.
Miss Fairy are you real?
The simple answer is yes, I am. But when it comes to little ones I never lie. My response is always the same, “Do you think I am real?”. I let them touch my wings, asking them to be gentle because I am ticklish and sometimes I even give out trinkets to those bold enough to approach me. My only rule is that I let each individual decide for themselves how much of the magic they chose to believe in.
Why are you here?
Well it looked like such a nice day and all you humans seemed to be having so much fun at this park I thought it would be a good place to rest my wings.
People always want to know why I am at the various locations I pop up at. It is almost as if I have to have a justifiable reason for being in a costume spreading smiles, even if I am just doing that by minding my own business. As a matter of fact I remember one time my cousin and I were at the farmers market downtown both as fairies and someone was very concerned that we were hired to be there and was bothered that we were buying produce. We tried to politely explain to the woman that no, this is just how we prefer to dress and that like herself, we just wanted to pick up some fruits and vegetables from local farmers. This seemed to unsettle her quite a bit as she still continued to lecture us and demand that we “perform for her entertainment if we were going to be dressed like that at a public event”.
Please don’t misunderstand though, I will very rarely turn down a request for a riddle or something small if I am out and about in a faesona, but just because I chose to look this way does not mean that I have to do anything. I am an individual with rights just like everyone else, I just chose to do something different with my appearance.
Okay, well if you get so much trouble for it, then why do you chose to be a fairy/mermaid?
Ah, I’m glad you asked friend. When I was a wee never-bug I had an unlimited imagination and I was lucky enough to have very creative parents who sewed and were open-minded that fostered that imagination. I had an entire closet full of whimsical fantasy costumes I had dreamed up and my mother had spent hours tirelessly creating so that I could have a magical childhood. We held masquerades, tea parties, read books of far off places where dragons were real and elves roamed. My room was even modeled after what I thought a fairies room might look like: my entire ceiling was a canopy of tulle, flowers, and vines; subtle glitter sparkled across every surface; my lamps were even disguised as metal scroll work or flowers.
Growing up in such a creative and free environment gave me an opportunity to find a safe haven from a lot of the scary things that come up as we become adults, but many of my friends were not so lucky. And as we got older the differences really began to show in how much hope we fostered. Those same friends who as children were running around dreaming of being anything have settled for what they refer to ask “soul-sucking” 9-5’s that take so much out of them all they do is come home, drink, and go to sleep. They aren’t living their lives. They are so bogged down by the societal expectation that they have to achieve certain things to be viewed as successful that they have forgotten the most important part: if you forget to actually live your life along the way none of those achievements really matter. You cannot take any of it with you.
It is time we stop worrying what others will think if it is getting in the way of our dreams. I hear it all the time from adults when I am out and about in character.
“Wow this is so cool. It sounds like so much fun, but I could never do that.”
Well why not? I have chosen an unusual path because I want to do something to change this. To actively contribute to keeping the magic alive for others as long as humanly possible. The real world is a very scary place at times and if we let all the magic die what do we have left to dream about to keep us going?
I do it for the look in that child’s eyes when they first see me. The over stressed college student who feels like they are drowning in a see of stress who for just a moment can relax and remember what it was like to be a carefree kid. For anyone whoes light is starting to go out.