Where are Your Fairy Doors?

Who Knew Whimsy Could Arrive in Middle Age?

I’ve never been one for whimsy. So you can imagine what I might think about fairy doors, which are quite the rage here in Ann Arbor: tiny little doors placed in unexpected places representing too much indulgent sentimentality when the work is still far from over.

My town of Ypsilanti, never interested in looking like they missed an Ann Arbor trend, has begun building fairy doorsamong the mature trees of Normal Park. On a whim I decided to photograph as many of the doors as I could last week. But, and this a very important, this would be a photography exercise only.

As I wandered through the well-manicured streets of Normal Park, trying to find the right light in the dying sun, the tiny doors and tables and chairs and trinkets – so reminiscent of childhood and magic – touched me.

I realized whimsy isn’t about sentimentality but about making a place of welcome for all the vulnerable and small parts of myself, parts I prefer to forget or bury or deny.

Fairy doors are about the tiny things that bring me joy, about a hard won re/connection to playfulness and to humor.

Fairy doors, I now see, help me to welcome more of myself into this delicious life of mine.

Where are the fairy doors of your life?

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