Mema’s House Fairy Trail

Around the backyard of Mema’s house, there was a low stone wall with wonderful green ligustrum bushes growing from them. The inner border was purple iris. There were a couple of other bushes. We called them “bee bushes,” because they had little white flowers that attracted honeybees.

I was never a child to play very many games. I wasn’t very good at most of them. I set up dollhouses and never touched them again. But this stone wall was an exception. I dubbed it the “Fairy Trail,” and led my brothers, sisters, friends, anyone who would follow me, around the border of the yard telling them that this is where the fairies lived.

It truly seemed that way to me.

In the spring it was lush and green. My grandmother was a wedding florist, so you can imagine that the woman could tend a garden. She even grew African violets and you know how hard those are to grow!

Birds sang in her yard at dawn and dusk. I know. Birds do that. But our house was out on the edge of town in a new subdivision and there weren’t really enough trees to attract that many birds. And the birds liked the berries on the ligustrum bushes. They were loud in the morning! I loved it.

Magic lived there. I knew it.

I spent 3 weeks in Ireland recently.

When we arrived at the bed and breakfast on the Emerald Island’s Baere Peninsula where our class met for “Celtic Cosmology and Modern Spirituality,” no . . . wait . . . it was titled the other way ‘round, “Celtic Spirituality and Modern Cosmology,” ANYWAY… I took one look and suddenly understood my deep affection for my grandmother’s backyard.

She wasn’t Irish. She was French and I don’t know what else. But her backyard had the lush green grass and shrubbery border of Ireland’s green and pleasant land. I loved that.


Colorado is far from green. Well, there are the pines and the junipers and the blue spruce. Okay, it’s perpetually green. Except for the grass. It’s brown.

From the air, Ireland and Colorado are diametrically opposed topographies. Where Ireland is green and rolling fields, just a little more shallow and irregular than an egg carton, Colorado is flat, flat, flat and brown. Except for the mountains, but Denver? Where the airport is?

Colorado: Flat. Brown.

Ireland: Green. Rolling.

That’s okay. I didn’t move to Colorado to live in the flatlands!

I love the mountains. I love the rolling hills.
I love the flowers. I love the daffodils.
Boom dee ah, la boom dee ah, la boom dee ah, la boom dee ah.


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