The hustle and bustle of the everyday world can seem overwhelming at times. Minutes filled with endless errands, hectic work schedules and a variety of obligations of every persuasion can result in a blur of days bleeding into the next with nary a single moment to catch one’s breath. Electronic devices whiz and bleep to remind us of the next leg of the race as we drink coffee and apply makeup while we drive in a vain and often harrowing attempt to steal back just a little time to stand still and collect our thoughts. A tiny reprieve from the twenty-four by seven world that we live in, where a trip to the ladies’ room is often nothing more than a quest for solace, a chance to close the door and dream of being, well, anywhere else! It is in these rare moments of clarity that we realize as much as we love our lives and all the quirky little bits that go along with it, we cannot deny the need every now and then to neatly hang our suits in the cupboard, put on our play clothes, and go off in search of a little magic.
We are so pleased that you could come along with us as we continue our series “The Toads At The Rally” where we participated in the “Parksville Qualicum Beach QR Code Road Rally 2013”. While magic can be found just about anywhere, Parksville and Qualicum Beach have always been some of my very favourite places to go looking. Crammed with all sorts of wonderful things to see and do from museums and antique shops to burgers on the beach under straw umbrellas, we really thought that we had overturned every stone there was. But that’s the most magical thing about magic, it happens when you least expect it!
On this particular day we found ourselves at Milner Gardens and Woodlands, a place that we had been meaning to visit for quite some time. As we strolled along the pathways that meander past a vegetable garden, a nursery, and a tea house among others, we found some relief from the warm afternoon sun in the cool shade of a forested area just off to the side. Happy for the reprieve and completely engrossed by our conversation, we very nearly missed this tiny abode built into the tree. Decorated with a bright red door and blanketed in soft, green moss, it became all at once apparent that we had unwittingly stumbled into a faerie garden!
When I was a little girl, I had a bed spread that was covered in little ballerinas. Whenever I had a bad dream, all I had to do was imagine them all dancing on my bed. As hundreds of tiny white and pink tutus twirled in unison, it was never long before I found myself drifting off once again to the dulcet tunes playing gently in my imagination.
The wonderful thing about believing in little ballerinas is that it makes it ever so easy to conceive of tiny little faerie-folk. Once we discovered our third miniature abode, we started to dash back and forth, eyes darting into the shadows for any hint of another hidden homestead. I must say that this lovely blue one is my very favourite, with a rustic wooden dock and dreamy reflecting pond.
If you have ever gone in search of faeries, you surely know that they are a bashful and private bunch. Ever-weary of anyone over ten inches in height, and probably rightly so, their houses blend into the scene around them, making them almost impossible to find. So we did what any smart pair of toads would do, we followed the children! Close to the ground and seemingly in endless supply of energy, they found faerie houses in nooks and crannies that we could scarcely fit through. This island cabin has a handy feathered sailboat to ferry this faerie to the mainland!
Each and every house was different, using materials gathered from the forest floor to create a shelter as unique as the faerie who lives inside.
Some hang from trees and can be easily mistaken for bird houses, but don’t be fooled! A ladder made of sticks and yarn is a sure sign that a faerie lives here.
Some are very grand, like this charming home built into a tree stump complete with a large porch and a stone walkway. This clever faerie family has the perfect yard for hide and seek, in fact I am certain that I saw one of the leaves move as we walked away!
Some are simple and cozy, the perfect place for a cup of sweet tea at the end of a long day of moss gathering.
As we strolled along the path we came upon this little wagon stuffed with flowers and feathers. Try as we might we just couldn’t find the faerie who belonged to it, but no doubt next time we will likely find another faerie house, this one decorated in purple flowers.
Thank you ever so much for taking some time to join us on this delightfully unexpected adventure. As we reluctantly turn and head back to reality, we can’t help but smile as we ponder the best kind of magical moments…those that are shared with our dearest friends!
Until next time!