Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do you believe in fairies?

"Having adventures comes naturally to some people.  You just have a gift for them or you haven't."
                                                                                   - Anne (Anne of Avonlea)

I can't sit still.  I am finding myself wandering aimlessly around the house.  The girls just went down for a rest, so you would think that I would have a long list of "needs" and "wants" just waiting to be accomplished...but I don't.  Ok, that is not exactly true.  The dishes need doing, the laundry is over-flowing and I have a good book that is asking to be finished...but I am so restless that even the thought of sitting, or doing anything at all monotonous makes me shudder. 

Perhaps it has something to do with the weather.  I love being outside and since it has been over 100 everyday for at least the past week I feel a bit trapped.  Wasps have taken over my backyard so I look out upon it with fear at the moment since nether myself nor my children have ever been stung, just chased a few times.  And I would like to keep it that way.  I can't say I need a vacation because I just had one last week, this is only day two of "back to work."  I shouldn't be this restless already right? 

I need a very large open grassy field.  Oh, and it needs to be windy, a cold wind with hot sun.  I need a pair of good shoes and nothing in my hands.  I want to run and run until I am so winded I have to stop.  Then I want to lay back and watch the sky for a while as I catch my breath.  Then I plan on spinning until I am dizzy and laughing uncontrollably for as long as I jolly well please.  Once I have finished laughing I want to walk slowly back, savoring every moment.  Noticing every bird, taking in every scent and perhaps chasing a butterfly or two.  No wasps.  Is all that so much to ask?  You know where I want to be?  My childhood backyard.  Want to see it?

Descanso Gardens, located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California, is a 150 acres (61 ha) botanical garden..  According to Wikipedia.

This spot is called "the spitting fish" though I doubt the photographer knew it.  Don't you love how Google is so generous in helping out when I have small whims like showing you my old backyard?

Here is another:

At one time in my life I could just about name every rock and tree in that garden.  It was my sanctuary, my mountain top, my playground and my own little adventure all rolled into one.  

See?  Grass!  And that grass was so perfect for running.  Especially if you knew your way around and could dart into the small little footpath on the side within the trees (that only you knew existed) at a moments notice.  So to the untrained eye you had disappeared completely- who knows where you would come out next? 

I remember so many times going there and being in low spirits.  But somehow, when walking in that beauty, it goes away and you realize just how blessed you are.  The garden was not overly popular, so there were rarely lots of people.  Which is good, because I took it personally when people were in MY space.  My favorite was to walk by the Forrest, up through the dessert on the far side of the lake where the manzanita trees grow.  There, if you were lucky, you could find deer, baby ducks and all sorts of lizards.  I even saw a coyote there once.  Then we would cut back through the bee house and across the troll bridge.  Walking by the Japanese garden and onto the field (shown above).  Or, in through the ferns where the fairies lived.  They do live there, I know it, I am pretty sure I have seen them. 

It makes me a little sad to look at those pictures.  I am not sure why - the garden is still there.  Though as much as I want to take my kids there  I think I am a little afraid it will look different to me.  I will see the chain-link fence under the ivy, notice the sprinkler heads and actually follow the "closed to the public" signs.  I never did before, I wasn't "the public" after all.  It was MY garden!  I am the public now.

While we were on vacation my wonderful, amazing husband wanted me to climb some rocks with him.  Now, I have always prided myself on being good at that sort of thing.  I am not afraid to get dirty or bruised.  I may be a klutz but I have never ever fallen while climbing trees or rocks.  Not once.  But it has been many years, at least 5, since I have climbed rocks.  Now, to put this into perspective...these were the rocks:

That is my brother and his fiance.  I didn't go up that particular face, but the one we did was basically comparable - though a little more jagged so more hand holds.  What you can't see is the ocean and very sharp rocks many many feet below.  This is not a "be careful or you might get hurt" This is a "you fall, you die" situation.  Now, it could possibly be argued that the fact that I would climb those, with no training and no thought was a bad idea in the first place.  My brother in the picture above has training.  But you see, bad idea or not - I always loved it.  It gave me a thrill and a sense of adventure. 

Well this time, wonderful as he is...my husband did not warn me exactly how hard this was...and it was not really THAT hard.  I am in good shape. But the whole "fall = die" thing all of a sudden was making me shaky an causing me to doubt what I could and could not do.  It might have been that as I looked down I would see the happy forms of my babies far below...or perhaps I have just gotten boring and weak in my old age.  But it had been too long, I didn't know 100% for sure what my body was capable of, I couldn't tell, just by testing, whether or not a rock would hold my weight. This scared me.  But by the time I realized what I had gotten myself into it was too late to go back.

I made it.  I didn't die (thankfully!) nor did my husband.  But I had to reach hard for my thrill and barely scraped my sense of adventure.  I felt accomplished once I was on the ground again...but I don't think it was based so much on having mastered the rocks.  I was just happy to be alive!

I think this fear has added to my restlessness.  Have I truly lost my sense of adventure?  Have I become "one of them?"  It can't be!  I wont let it!  but then...what can I do about it?  I am a practical person, I always have been.  So while I enjoy adventure, I won't purposely put myself in harms way just for a cheap thrill.  So am I doomed to live a quiet, peaceful life never wondering "what-if?"  I'm not sure I can stand that!

No...I think I just need to get more creative.  After all, the best adventures are the ones that find you when you weren't even looking for them.  Perhaps I need to 'not look' a little harder.  But in the meantime.  There is laundry to be folded and dishes to be washed.  The living room needs vacuuming and the garden could use some water.  Oooh, perhaps if I look very closely I shall see a fairy out in my garden.  I have pumpkins out there, so there must be fairies.    Ah - that reminds me.  Hold on, I have to find it....

"You make me believe in fairies, whether I will or no, and that means youth.  As long as you believe in fairies, you can't grow old."                                       - Dean Prist (Emily Climbs)

Ah yes, thank you.  I needed that.  Tonight, or perhaps tomorrow I shall take the girls into the yard just as it is getting dark and we will search for fairies.  Who knows, perhaps we will even get to almost see one. And like Colin says when he first peaked into his very own secret garden:  Together, in this garden.We shall live forever and ever and ever!

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