Yesterday morning, I was pondering how my children have entered another of those changeling phases, when they suddenly look and act like changelings that the faeries have swapped for my little ones. Suddenly, their teeth seem to be too big for their mouths, their chins are pointy, and their knees and elbows stick out at all angles. Their shoulder blades stick out of their backs like they’re about to sprout wings. Their hair seems to grow an inch a day. They seem to have lost some hearing: they don’t come when I call or answer questions when I ask them. They get a faraway look in their eyes. Wild creatures.
Then I noticed that the Faerie Ring mushrooms had popped open in the night. This is only the second or third year that I have noticed them out by the shop, and there are more now than there have ever been, about ten, in an oblong ring. I told my youngest changeling that he might want to make a faerie garden down by the ring. He spent most of the afternoon and evening creating an elaborate faerie village among and around the toadstools. At one point, he set up four chairs down by the ring and invited the whole family to come sit and watch him work.
My friend Marie Winger, who is a powerful storyteller, and who was here at the CSA to pick up her weekly share of vegetables, told me how someone had once interviewed her about how people can preserve their capacity for wonder and imagination. She told him, “How can you hope to see the faeries under the flowers, if you don’t notice the flowers themselves?” That was the third time yesterday that someone had told me very earnestly that noticing, paying attention, is an important practice. My children might not be very good right now at noticing when I call, but they’re very busy noticing the minute details of their world.
I love these changeling children and their wild wonder, their startling imaginative worlds. If this cycle goes as the last one did, they’ll soon start to grow back into themselves. Their feet and hands will seem to match their body proportions again. Their fighting will become a little less fierce for a time. They’ll listen better again. They’ll come to terms with the space around them. For now, I hope the faeries let me keep these little feral things a while longer.
1. The faerie toadstool ring and the magic that it brings us.
2. Virginia Sweet tomatoes, golden yellow streaked with pink, and almost two pounds each. Sweet and juicy.
3. Noticing. Paying attention. Being Here Now.
4. My wise, wise friends. That includes you, Bright Ones.
5. The smell of good bread toasting. Isn’t that a sort of iconic scent? It’s more than it is, you know?
May we walk in Wonder!