Although it’s been a strange, snowless winter, it is still very much winter. My urge during this season is always to stay inside and hibernate. Each day I push myself out, no matter what the weather, and am immediately glad I did. The winter landscape refreshes me. Although, it is getting harder to push my kids out these days, when they do, they always have the same reaction. In Fairy Houses All Year, I encourage kids to continue their work no matter the season. Like the famous postal creed, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” children should not be kept from their awaiting fairy houses! The following is an excerpt from Fairy Houses All Year..
Perhaps the fairies sleep the whole winter, hibernating like other winter animals. Or maybe they fly south like geese or monarch butterflies. But my theory with fairies is that it always better to be safe than sorry. Just in case they are out there shivering and alone, it is best to build them a fairy house so they know you are taking good care of them. By making them a house in this frigid time of year, you are providing a place where they can rest and take the chill off. And who knows, they might be tempted to stay all winter long only to emerge when the first flowers appear. As an added benefit, because footsteps are so easy to see in the snow, you might even be able to track fairy footsteps and see how often they come to and from your fairy house.
According to the book, Finding Fairies: Secrets for Attracting Little People from Around the World, written by Michelle Roehm McCann and Marianne Monson-Burton, there are many fairies that live and even thrive in very cold climates. These fairies dress warmly for the cold in tiny fur snow suits and some even live in miniature igloos! In Greenland, the winter loving fairies are called Aua. According to legends they are on a continuous hunt for a mythic bear that grows bigger if seen by human eyes. In Iceland, these wintry fairies are known as Huldufolk and live in invisible villages all over the country.
The most well-known Eskimo fairy has a very long name but an incredibly kind spirit. They are called Kingmingorakulluk. Roehm McCann says that that t McCann says that “this affectionate little fellow loves humans so much that whenever he sees one he bursts into joyful song!” In Iceland, these wintry fairies called Kingmingorakulluk are known for their amazing sense of direction and channel this ability in order to find lost travelers stuck in the arctic tundra.
Things to Notice in Winter: animal tracks in snow, plants and leaves that come to the surface of the snow, patterns in the ice, different types of snow: wet, dry, fluffy, icicles, frozen leaves, different types of buds on trees, birds eating from feeders or scavenging the last of fall berries, frosty windows, leaves and sticks frozen in the ice, warm fires, rosy cheek, stormy skies, the shapes of trees when they are bare.