The little glade in the forest was where Emma liked to come to think. Surrounded by waist high hollyhocks in a broad semicircle, with the gentle murmur of a silver stream completing the circle, it was a place of colour, beauty and magic.
Wildflowers carpeted the glade in riotous colours and scented the area with warm spring aroma’s that touched the senses. Roses arched across the glade, strung from the overhanging branches of the surrounding elm trees.
Emma lay across the soft grass on her stomach, her head propped up on her hands as she stared wistfully into the swiftly flowing water.
Above her own reflection, Emma could see the reflection of thousands of tiny fairies fluttering across the daisies, tulips and lavender bushes. She knew that if she turned her head, the fairies would become invisible. Only their reflections could be seen.
As she watched, a tiny figure alighted on her shoulder. The two watched each other in the water.
It had come as a surprise to Emma, that the fairies could only see the reflections of humans as well. And it was only in little pockets of magic like Emma’s garden in the glade where it happened at all.
Unsure of the words to describe what she saw, Emma had come to believe that the glade was a special place where two worlds existed as one.
With concerned eyes, the little fairy placed a soft hand on Emma’s cheek as a fat tear rolled down her chin and splashed gently into the water.
‘Why do you cry, little human?’ the voice seemed to be in Emma’s head and she responded the same way.
‘I can’t come here anymore,’ Emma began to explain, ‘We are moving away and I shall never see you or the garden ever again!’
The fairy cocked her head from side to side, her brows furrowed in confusion.
‘You come when you want. This is your magic garden.’
‘No, I can’t,’ Emma went on, ‘I shall be so far away. In another country! This will be my last visit.’
Shaking her head, the fairy kept repeating, ‘My garden. Your garden. Always,’ insistently.
Six months in a new country, learning a new language and trying to make new friends had been difficult for Emma. She’d never been popular in school, much more given to writing stories and poems than playing jump rope and hopscotch.
It hadn’t been all bad though. Emma had found one friend who believed in magic as much as Emma herself did, and drew the most amazing pictures. Her parents had also found a lovely house in the country, far from the smog and noise of the apartment in the city where they had lived after moving here.
Exploring the woods behind her new home, Emma gasped as she walked into a little glade surrounded by hollyhocks and roses. With a cry of delight Emma ran toward the sound of running water and flopped down onto her stomach.
Above her reflection she watched in delight as a swarm of fairies fluttered above her, their beautiful faces alight with joy.
A familiar fairy leaped onto her shoulder. The two old friends smiled at each other in the water.
Stroking Emma’s cheek, the fairy giggled happily as her voice sounded in Emma’s head, ‘My garden. Your garden. Always,’ she reached up a tiny hand and tapped Emma’s forehead, ‘Garden goes where little human goes.’
© Alison Pearce 2008