Although I can’t believe it now, looking out at all this rain, a couple of days ago the weather was very hot and humid. One of the younger girls invited me to go to the stream with her, so we walked together down the winding, forest stairs. The leaves on the trees are now toughened up, and the sun is almost completely covered, except for the occasional diamond of light shining down. She got in the water, I stayed on the shore. She found fossils, I looked for them. Eventually, she asked me whether I was too afraid to go into the water, since I had hurt myself a month earlier in the stream. I told her that I wasn’t afraid, I just didn’t feel like it. Then I realized how silly I sounded, and every other time I had gone in the stream it had been a nice experience. So, I took off my shoes and socks, feeling the dirt beneath my feet. She took my hand, and we walked down the small staircase made of dirt and tree roots. The tree roots acted as hand holds in our descent into the water. The stream bed was both hard jagged rocks and soft with algae. It flowed quickly over my feet, instantly cooling them and giving me relief from the heat of the day.
We wandered about, and she told me they used to make fairy houses here with a previous staff member. She said that she didn’t necessarily believe that fairies were real, however, she had enjoyed making the houses. Then she showed me how to make the perfect mud and dirt mixture, so we could build the optimal home for the fairies. We started to work making the mud bricks. She would place them in her design. We made a doorway of sticks, so the fairies would have a place to go in and out. The floor was made with mud from the water, but then we had to make it solid by sprinkling dirt on it. In the beginning, I was asking her what she wanted to do in every step of the construction. At one point she stopped me and asked, “What do you think? I want your ideas as well!” The four walls rose from the sand bed, the mud sinking and creating a triangle shape to the walls. She put in rooms and furnished them with chairs and table, beds for the fairies to sleep in. There were three fairies that lived here, she proclaimed: a mother, a father and a child fairy. She made sure the fairies’ beds were soft with mud from the stream, and she carefully placed vibrant beech leaves for their bed covers. For the roof we decided on grasses, sticks and leaves as our building material. We laid the sticks across and piled the leaves over, thereby creating a shady home for our fairy friends. I hope they are enjoying their home, especially now that the rain is pouring down. I hope that the mother and father tuck in the child at night, and I can’t help but wonder whether they get a visit from the tooth fairy in the fairy woods.
(Kathrine is Fairhaven School’s wonderful Danish intern. She is a student of education who wants to start a Sudbury school in Denmark one day. Kathrine is leaving soon, but this post shows you why we will miss her so much.)