One of my favorite fairy tales when I was a kid was a story called, “The Pixy and the Lazy Housewife,” by Mary Calhoun (1969).
In the story, it is told that pixies, while tricksy in nature, sometimes will help a housewife with her chores when she is sick. Because while pixies may be tricksy, they are good-hearted folk after all.
So in the story, a lazy housewife hatches a tricksy plan of her own to get the pixies to take pity on her and clean her dirty house for her, because she doesn’t want to do it herself. Which of course backfires, as does anything when trying to trick the wee folk!
It wasn’t that I was a fan of the lazy housewife’s rotten house, or even the plight of housekeepers everywhere (where there’s always someone’s dirt to clean).
I fell in love with the idea that there might be unseen friends out there somewhere, with some kind of honor code and the power to do something, who might take pity to help on someone in pain or need.
Another favorite fairy tale of mine was Cinderella. (The Perrault version from 1697 I might add.) I loved that someone could find nurturing and love AND rise above their circumstances, no matter how painful a story their past. And while fairies and wee folk in general seem to have their own interests at heart to serve, the idea of a fairy godmother was different. Because fairy godmothers didn’t just serve their own interests. They took their charges seriously.
I don’t know about you, but I just love the idea of a fairy godmother in particular. She’s not quite as juvenile as other wee folk. She’s usually kind, all-knowing and willing to help. And I just knew there had to be a fairy godmother out there for me. Someone always there, who loved me like a mother (or grandmother), wise as the Universe, who understood my woes, would heal my wounds, treat me to enriching experiences and make magic happen.
There were other influences on my love of the idea of unseen help. “The Magician’s Nephew“ by C.S. Lewis mentions a grandmother who might have had fairy blood. A wonderful notion! And of course, there’s the character Aslan from Lewis’ books, who is practically (literally) a fairy God-Lion.
And so my love for the story of private friends and help, unseen to others, grew with each passing tale.
In adulthood, I’d even play the role of an unseen friend, cleaning house, paying bills, restocking pantries, leaving treats for friends and families. All the while, thinking of what I’d love to come home to sometime, and then doing that for someone else. After all, it’s one of the nicest gifts you could give someone. To wave a wand and grant a small wish or need.
But here’s the thing. We don’t have to wish for or wait around for our own fairy godmother. She’s already here. In fact, she’s right here inside our heart and soul.
We all hurt sometimes. We’re all tired sometimes. We all need a friend to lean on sometimes. We all need and DESERVE nurturing. We all need moments of magic sometimes.
But we should not wait for Prince Charming or our Fairy Godmother to appear and see to these needs.
Start now. Start listening to the small voice inside, who says I haven’t had fun in soooo long. And do something about it! Listen to the little kid inside who says – Ooooo! Sprinkles! Give yourself a healthy, but tasty snack. Think of the one thing you wish most you had help with, and grant yourself a wish.
Buy yourself flowers, make time and room for a reading corner with something you love to read, treat yourself like a date and try out that recipe you’ve been eying and when you’re tired, draw a bubble bath and tuck yourself into bed. Treat yourself lovingly and bestow daily wisdom on your soul. Improve your working conditions.
Do something to increase your quality of life, love and happiness. Grant yourself the gift of good memories.
The world would be happier if we would just listen to and take care of ourselves. Deep inside, we’re all still the same little kids, just trying to get through life.
So I challenge you thus:
1. Go surprise someone by playing the role of a Fairy Godmother and do something unexpectedly kind!
2. Find a mirror. Look yourself straight in the eyes, and say this to the beautiful young soul you see….
“I love you. And today… I’m going to do something to prove it to you.”
And go for it!