A Magical Journey to Faerieland!
During my years at Ball State, I spent a lot of time at Minnetrista. I fell in love with the place! All the rich history, secret passageways, and beautiful landscape seemed almost magical to me, even as an adult. I remember hearing about the Faerie, Sprites, and Lights Festival, and thinking Minnetrista was the perfect place for such a magical event. I thought, if I ever had a daughter, I would love to take her to the festival. I imagined little girls bubbling over with excitement as they fluttered down the candlelit paths, donning wings on their backs, a song in their hearts, and a twinkle in their eyes. A part of me wished I could be a child again, so carefree, and filled with such awe and wonder.
The years after I graduated flew by faster than a faerie in a hurricane. The wind blew me south where I made my home in Charlotte, NC. Soon, I became a wife and a mother to a beautiful baby girl that we named Bella. A couple of times a year, we ventured back to the midwest to visit with family. Last year, we purposely planned our summer trip around the Faerie, Sprites, and Lights Festival. Months before the festival, Bella was telling anyone who would listen, that she was going to be going to the Faerie Festival. Her effervescence bubbled over, spilling over everyone around her. Soon, her older cousins couldn't wait to go too.
Finally, the day of the Festival arrived. Bella and her cousins were dressed from head to toe in glittery shades of pinks and purple. Smiles beamed across their faces as they tiptoed through the magical child sized entrance. Once inside, Bella was helping one of the Sprites sketch a picture of his faerie friend. She was on Toadstool!! The girls skipped down the lantern-lit trails, meeting faerie and sprite friends along the way. They stopped for a long while to stretch their wings and dance to the enchanting folk music including songs like "You Are My Sunshine", and "The Unicorn Song". It made my heart dance to see the children filled with such joy. Then, they headed off to watch a group perform Rumpelstiltskin. They joined the other faeries in shouting out the answer, "Rumpelstiltskin!!!" to the princess during the delightfully funny play. As the night drew to a close, all the children followed the talented musicians and actors up and down the trails of the Festival and out the gates like a scene from the Pied Piper. It was a fairy fabulous evening!
Ever since attending last year's Faeries, Sprites, and Lights Festival, Bella has been enamored with anything that has to do with faeries. She searches for faerie homes, had a faerie birthday party, reads all faerie books, and watches all the faerie movies.
This spring, we moved once again, and now live near the mountains in Virginia where we love to hike or spend the day by the lake or pond. Everytime we are outdoors, Bella gets this twinkle in her eyes as she scans her surroundings for faeries and their homes. She's got a keen eye and has spotted some houses made out of toadstools, mushrooms growing like shelves on the bark of some trees, or in the hollow of a fallen weathered tree. On a hike to the Cascades, she was delighted to see some water faeries skating down the shimmering water of a waterfall. Amazingly, she always seems to spot them before me or my husband. "You just missed it!" she says, " You have to watch more carefully!" We laugh and try to keep better watch for those speedy faeries zooming about.
After such a wonderful experience last year, there was no doubt that we were going to try to make it back to the festival this year. This year we'll be bringing along a baby fairy, Abigail. Bella has already been telling her all about it. We can't wait!!
[Diane, what a committed Faerie Family you have! Love it! And we love the picture of Bella with our very own friend of sprites, Nic!]
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