St. Patrick’s Day is culturally not my holiday, but I somehow ended up celebrating it no matter what country I happened to live in. Dressing up in green each March 17th and making wishes on shamrocks was an automatic thing, and since I was always surrounded by Irish priests and nuns who made sure that the religious background of the feast was observed, it was ingrained deep in my memory. In the same manner, the concept of fairies has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. My mother used to reed me fairy tales full of fairies and later on, when I could choose and read my own book, I inevitably chose those that featured fairies. So it comes as no surprise that I would end up passing this preference on to my daughter as well.
This is partly the reason I love flowers and gardens full of flowers so much. In all the fairy books the fairies who attended the balls those their gowns from the flowers in the garden, so it fell upon the humans to offer a variety of flowers for them to choose from.
This morning I got out of bed and headed straight to the kitchen to bake a proper Irish Soda Bread with fresh rosemary for breakfast. One cannot celebrate St. Patrick’s without proper bread, at least in my book, and this is one of my favourites to bake on a whim. Somehow, the conversation during breakfast turned from leprechauns towards fairies and fairy magic. We looked at each other and decided to create a fairy garden for the day. After quick research on good old reliable Google and Pinterest, we put together a few ideas, making sure we were inviting in the proper fairies and not the naughty ones. Cats, as it turns out, are perfect elements or additions to a fairy garden, and as it so happens, I have three of them, the perfect number to tie in with the shamrock.
The basic elements of a fairy garden include bread, alcohol, sweets, nuts, something shiny, flowers, herbs, and light. We added sage sticks and salt to ward off any evil, and surrounded our little offering / garden with small pots of herbs and other plants. It turned out cuter than we intended, and decided that this is a set-up we can actually live with on a long-term basis, as long as our four-legged fairy affiliates don’t interfere or knock anything over. Before you ask, yes, I did include a generous portion of the homemade bread in the offering.
It is the writer in me who believes in fairy tales, fairies, good spirits, and attracting positive energy into the home that leads me indulge in such moments. Why not? Where is it written that fairy tales are only for children? If we cannot find inspiration and motivation in the real world, there is no law that prevents us from turning towards our inner child and immersing in a world of fantasy and fairy tales for comfort.