“Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy…” – William Butler Yeats
Spring has begun this month, and with it, the Once Upon a Time Challenge on Stainless Steel Droppings (my launch post here)…and so I have fairyland on my mind. I’ve never climbed through a wardrobe, been abducted by the Green Wind, or fallen through a rabbit hole, so I can’t share photos from the various places those routes would take you 🙂 and cameras probably wouldn’t work anyway. But as regular readers know, I have gone rambling about Kensington Gardens, where Peter Pan flew to when he “ran away from home and lived a long, long time with the fairies.”
Part of the fun of the Gardens is that there are no plaques or ceramic fairies or touristy things to point out the different sites of interest. You have to take a quest, with J. M. Barrie’s The Little White Bird as your guide, and find the magic spots yourself.
Fortunately, the fairies seem not to object to cameras!
If you look closely, you can see one of the “paths which make themselves”–at night, of course, which is when everything really magical happens in the Gardens.
These are flowers along the aptly-named Flower Walk. Barrie tells us that fairies caught abroad by humans will pretend to be flowers. His advice on the best way to spot a fairy is to stare at a “flower” until it can’t help winking at you. (I don’t know what that would look like either!)
This is the branch of the Weeping Beech in the Flower Walk, where Peter Pan spent the night immediately after running away from home.
If you can’t find some fairy dust, and reliable directions on how to fly past the second star to the right, you can at least go see the island in the middle of the Serpentine. Peter spent some time living there too, until he built a boat and (eventually) learned how to fly.
The Gardens are not the most exotic or showy of fairylands, but they’re certainly the most accessible–and they are every bit as charming as J. M. Barrie.
If you feel like visiting fairylands, even in books, why not join up with the Once Upon a Time Challenge? And of course, you can also find more Saturday Snapshots on At Home with Books!