By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Fairy gardens became a cottage industry a few years ago. Fairy doors are popping up all over my Shaw Neighborhood of south St. Louis, the latest trend to hit the community.

A local mom started the neighborhood fairy doors as a way to get kids outside and engaged with their imaginations. The idea has taken off, and a neighborhood list cites every fairy door, and its sponsor.

The creativity in constructing these doors engages both adults and kids; even childless households feature doors tucked away in front yards, but visible enough for explorers to find.

Fairy dust glitters over Shaw and could even be out-shining the Craig Mitchell Smith Garden of Glass exhibit in the Climatron in neighboring Missouri Botanical Garden.

In addition to encouraging kids to explore the outdoors and to engage their imaginations about fairies who have taken up residence in yards, the activity fosters speculation about who lives behind the doors.

Adults and kids are naming the fairies; names give us power over the visiting fairies and the ability to welcome them into our lives.  What kind of fairies love our neighborhood? How do we urge them to stay with us? What do we believe about specks of creation that we cannot see?

While searching for fairy doors might be a fun-filled summer pursuit, it can push us to consider what creeds captivate us.  Fairies, like faith and commitment to a way of life, lift us out of the merely material and into a realm of inspiration that transcends facts.

Last summer’s Pokemon craze seems to have come and gone, but we don’t want to scare away the fairies and risk losing an entire dimension of reality that is a doorway to more than we see.

These fairy doors are portals to the possibility of belief in things unseen.

  • How does a fairy metaphor stretch your imagination?
  • What kind of fairies do you believe in?
  • What realm of otherness do you welcome?