Picking up the Scent…

Aug 1, 2009

On a recent walk through Garfield Park, I practically tripped over two little girls scampering out from under the branches of one of the many hibiscus bushes.

“Did you know that fairies live inside these flowers?” One of the girls said. The other giggled.

“Well, I have heard the rumor” I said. “But I’ve never seen one. Have you?”

“I’ve seen TONS of them!” The first girl said. “But sometimes they hide.” The other girl nodded. She pulled off one of the flowers and tucked it behind her ear before running toward the slide. When her friend followed, I decided to see if I could photograph one of those fairies…

Hmmm. Maybe I should have used the macro setting.

I just couldn’t let my little eyewitnesses get away without further investigation into their claims! So, I turned to the definitive fairy expert — Cicely Mary Barker, whose 1920s Flower Fairy poetry and watercolor paintings offer a revealing glimpse into the natural world. Here’s what she had to say:

Open Your Eyes

To shop, and school, to work and play,
The busy people pass all day;
They hurry, hurry, to and fro,
And hardly notice as they go
The wayside flowers, known so well,
Whose names so few of them can tell.

They never think of fairy-folk
Who may be hiding for a joke!

O, if these people understood
What’s to be found by field and wood;
What fairy secrets are made plain
By any footpath, road or lane–
They’d go with open eyes and look,
(As you will, when you’ve read this book)
And then at least they’d learn to see
How pretty common things can be!

South Pasadena is a fairly magical place. I’ve already seen gnomes and imagined ghosts. Fairies? Why not?

Go to Glimpses of South Pasadena



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