Our good friend Tegan stopped for a visit yesterday. When I first met Tegan nine years ago, she was a high-school junior. She has since finished college and worked for the NPR down in Louisiana for a few years after. She has just returned back to her native Wisconsin to pursue a graduate degree in Enviromental Reporting (I think) at UW-Madison, and is currently back in Viroqua visiting.
Tegan is wonderful with kids, and my kids enjoy her very much.
She gave Josie her old pair of sunglasses, and Josie was thrilled beyond measure.
Fashion is important to this country girl.
But she is a girl, and she loves to dress up.
Tegan and my kids built a fairy house together in a volunteer violet bed in our orchard. Josie had built a couple of fairy houses of her own before.
Here is what it ended up looking like – sticks, flowers, grass, and leaves. Do you remember the chapter “Where Violets Grow” from one of the Little House books, On the Shores of Silver Lake? In that story, Laura and her family are looking for their baby sister Grace, who had wondered off on her own into the prairie as the family was busy planting trees around their new homestead. Laura eventually found Grace playing in a large, round patch of blooming violets, and wondered if this was a fairy ring (her dad later explained to her that it was an old buffalo stumping ground).
It also reminds me of a bowerbird house. Ever heard of bowerbirds? They live in Australia and New Guinea, and build a small stick structure that they decorate elaborately with flowers and bright-colored objects as a form of mating display. A female then comes and examines the home, and if she likes what she sees, she mates with the builder. Here is a whole gallery of them from the National Geographic.
In Waldorf education we believe in “fairies” – or, to use a more grown-up term, elemental beings that animate the natural world, and this belief in the wondrous and the magical, already naturally present in children, is something we nurture and cultivate. Fairy-house constructions fits right in.
They also made a bed of flowers near the house to serve as a fairy dance floor.
The fairies also needed a bath, so Josie got a jar lid from the house, filled it with the water from a hose, and carried it carefully to the orchard.
Carrying liquids in shallow vessels is not an easy job, so Tegan eventually helped her.
Before leaving, Tegan gave my kids presents – Cyrus got the tape measure she had in her car, and Josie got her older pair of sunglasses.
I don’t think my kids have ever been to Toys”R”US, so these were pretty much heaven.
Thank you, Tegan, for being so good to my kids! We love you! Good luck with your graduate school adventures!