Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
In second grade, I worked in construction. I knew that dewy grass was proof of fairies, and that they needed a spot to rest their wings before shining lawns with water. So I gathered my tools and worked ceaselessly, at every possible chance, to build houses for those laborers of light.
I ripped grass, tore bark, and plucked mushrooms, fashioning tiny furniture for whomever needed it most. Alas, the most coveted decor required flowers, not from my grandmother’s backyard, but from her neighbor’s.
I made a game of the crusade, a dance with security. I would scale the stone partition between their kingdoms, and with sleek grace, snatch Ingrid’s tulips. This technique worked innumerable times, until I finally found myself face to face with Ingrid, a dead flower in my hand, and a severed stem in her garden.
With her harsh German accent, she smashed my interest in the supernatural. How could fairies exist in a world of possession and anger? At the ripe age of seven, I had learned, quite sadly, that the beautiful was not necessarily the communal. I did not have the right to uproot pretty things to make my world daintier.
When I went crying to Mormor, who had her own gripes with the Holsteins, she coupled reprimand with hope. First,...
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