Valley of the Moon has been dedicated to having young children see the magic in life since the 1920s. The founder, George Phar Léger, built the park on Allen Street in Tucson with the help family, friends, and some homeless men who found a place to live in exchange for helping him.
He loved children and told stories to park visitors. The theme of the park was that Kindness to All is the Golden Key to Happiness. This still is the underlying theme.
I went to see their production of “Peter Pan” at Valley of the Moon, with a cast of young mostly teenage actors, sweet scenes that you walk to winding around stone-lined paths.
While I was waiting for my fellow believer, Lori, to arrive, I made friends with two other fairies. Non-verbally. One little thing in yellow wings and a princess dress came up near me. She stopped about ten feet from me, turned her back and with her adorable little finger pointed to her wings. What could I do? I turned
my back and pointed to mine. She lifted her other hand and showed a yellow wand. I shrugged. I had no wand. She looked at me. Sadly? Sympathetic? Or just understanding.
Another very small fairy, tugged on her mama’s dress and pointed at me. She walked over and gave me a silvery twisty wand with a red stone on he top. “This is beautiful,” I said as I took it. Turning it in my hand I said, “I think this is a ruby here at the top. It’s probably very valuable so you should have it.” I gave it back to her. She looked at me with old soul eyes. “No,” she said as her mama took her hand and they walked away, “It’s a magic wand.”
Best quote of the night came not from the Peter Pan characters, but from a small fairy with a pink wand. As we went into one of the tunnels to get to the next grotto, she said, “ It’s okay, I can see in the dark.” Her equally magical companion said, “And I’m half-owl.” Lori and I were in good company.
Go to Valley of the Moon. https://www.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com
Love kids’ imaginations. Wish I was half-owl. I’m just one quarter Italian.
and ¾ a lot of other good qualities.
“The child is the father of the man.” When I first read those words from Wordsworth’s poem, I pondered over their meaning, over the poet’s intent, which I grew to believe applies to each of us in its own way, to the readers of poetry and the lovers of the creative, imaginary world we lived in as children and seek out as adults. Cicely Mary Barker’s flower fairie paintings depict fairies living in the gardens of her imagination. Barker’s models for the fairies were children of domestics employed in her home, as she was invalid and homebound for most of her life. Depictions of these children were the manifestations of Barker’s creative talent and gave purpose to her life. I urge all lovers of children and fairies to visit her site. And Ethel, you make a whimsical, gossamer fairy; the genuine look of joy upon your face is testament to that!