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Despite our hot, arid climate, there are many lovely gardens in El Paso. None of them are mine.

I used to travel to miniature shows, which allowed me to see flowers, plants, gardens and natural environments very different from what I am used to. But nowadays, other than visiting my daughter's back yard with its relaxing pool and separate little patios, it is only when I am visiting with Mother Goose that I can experience nature in a relaxing and often quite unique way.

I am always thrilled to visit FairyLand because it is usually cool and green, especially when we tour what Mother Goose calls The Fringes of Places, or realms within her domain that few outsiders ever get to see. I am so fortunate that our friendship has allowed me to see such places and to meet some very unique individuals on those visits.

It was misty and cool the day of our recent tour, and I was enjoying Mother Goose's commentary about what we were seeing as we approached an out-of-the-way spot that she hadn't been to in a while.

As we neared a cluster of rather large mushrooms I felt a slight sensation throughout my body; nothing particularly disturbing or even identifiable, but nonetheless there.

And then I spotted what seemed to be some kind of tall, curving stem ahead. Why, it almost looks like a lamp, I thought.

And then I saw what looked like a chair, with something glimmering through its open back.

That's it; I thought. That whatever-it-is is making me feel this way.

And reverting to my childhood, I said, "Looky there! It IS a chair! And that IS a lamp!

"And that must be a gazing ball clasped within that tree stump!

"You are right, Wanna. This is a special spot. Any citizen of FairyLand can come here and use it for meditation and what we call Centering. First, you shake your body from fingertips to toes a few times, place the wreath on your head, and sit down in the chair. Then you take a sip of the tea from those little cups. Lastly, you place your hands on either side of the ball, close your eyes for a few moments, and when you open them you can gaze into the ball. If all goes well, one can find peace, relaxation and understanding coursing within the mind and throughout the body, replacing all the negative forces there."

"And what about that lamp?"

"Well, this is such a shaded place that sometimes people need a bit more light, you know."

"Oh, okay. And what about that hedgehog?"

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call him a guardian, but he looks out for things."

At that moment, as I stared at the gazing ball, a small snail appeared from a slight opening in the bottom of the tree stump.

"Is he a guardian, too?" I whispered.

"Well, no. Snails need relaxation, too. It isn't easy being a snail in this world, you know. He's probably waiting until we leave to climb up there. Obviously he wouldn't use the chair. He just climbs directly up onto the ball itself, as far as I know. I don't make it a habit of intruding when I know someone wants the experience."

"Oh, of course not," I said. "I understand that. I don't suppose I can sit in that chair, can I?"

"Well, the rules at this point require that one must be a citizen. However, Wanna, if the Councils should decide otherwise, you will be the first to know."

"I appreciate that, Mother Goose. Actually, I think I am feeling some kind of residual effect, anyhow. I felt some sensation, like an unheard unseen buzzing that went right through me as we approached and now it's gone, and I am so relaxed and happy."

"What a joy to hear that, Wanna! Now aren't you glad you came along to The Fringes of Places with me?"

"Oh yes, Mother Goose. It's the fuzzy boundaries in life that always appeal to me."

Well, here I am, several days later, still happy and content. Imagine how I would feel if I had gotten to sit in that chair and gaze into that ball! I just wish I had thought to ask who makes that tea.

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NOTES:

Back in 2007 I participated in a Fairy Swap with the DreamDwellings miniatures online group. I stored my swaps so well that I thought they were lost forever until I came across some of those pieces recently when I was sorting through floral items and a bin labeled Fairy stuff. I was so pleased to find them again that I decided to do something with some of them.

The fairy floor lamp was my swap item. Unfortunately, I don't have the last names of the swap participants, but Kat made the gazing ball; I used it as is. Sallyann made the chair to which I added the flowers, the leaf fabric cushion and the wreath. The hedgehog was made by Viviana Kraulitis in a separate swap; I added some chalking to emphasize the spines a bit more.

I am not sure where I got that tiny seed pod tea set; I believe it was a purchase. The table for it was made from a small round woodsie perched atop half of a strange pod I found in some potpourri. The mushrooms were from my extensive stash. And, of course, the flowers and greenery came from that large bin I am trying to pare down!

It was fun to do this, and I am happy to be able to finally use items from those talented miniaturists of years ago.

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