Kelly Kenney was taking a late-night stroll to clear her ideas in her Los Angeles neighborhood this spring when a colourful pinwheel caught her eye. She stopped and located herself gazing down at an elaborate fairy backyard on the base of a tree, full with painted rocks and tiny trinkets.
Pinned to the tree was a Polaroid image of the backyard’s creator, a 4-year-old woman named Eliana, and a poem utilizing a medieval-looking storybook font that advised her neighbors easy methods to use the backyard: “Our 4-year-old girl made this to brighten your day / Please add to the magic, but don’t take away / These days can be hard, but we’re in this together / So enjoy our fairy garden and some nicer weather.”
Ms. Kenney hatched a plan, and on the following evening, she left a notice on the backyard pretending to be a fairy named Sapphire, named after Ms. Kenney’s September birthstone, who had taken up residence within the tree. She promised she’d depart glittery magical resin cube (a pandemic passion for Ms. Kenney) if Eliana accomplished three duties she listed that have been etched in kindness. And the following day, they have been completed.
The notice kindled a friendship tied to the fairy backyard that might final by means of a number of the darkest months of the pandemic and hardships of 2020 for each a little bit woman and her grown-up neighbor. Ms. Kenney chronicled the expertise in a wildly popular Twitter thread this month.
“I felt like immediately when I found it, the whole family wedged themselves into my heart,” Ms. Kenney, a photographer, stated concerning the fairy backyard. “I was so alone at the time, physically and mentally, and I felt like these people were kindred spirits.”
Eliana made the fairy backyard on April 28 utilizing supplies from her grandmother. The backyard began with fairy-size doorways on the tree, a few fairies and a gnome. It grew with contributions from neighbors, like a tiny purple self-importance with a citation from “The Lord of the Rings” inside, Eliana’s mom, Emily Pauls, stated.
Ms. Kenney discovered a brand new goal as she went by means of a harsh breakup by orchestrating elaborate notes and photoshopping herself as a tiny fairy subsequent to her cat, Nova. She gave Eliana’s mother and father her cellphone quantity, to reassure them, when the letters grew to become extra frequent.
She contemplated concepts for imaginative present bins to depart behind, with the purpose of creating every higher than the final one. Ms. Kenney tapped into what she stated she cherished when she was a toddler and texted Ms. Pauls for assist.
Ms. Kenney gave Eliana a stuffed pig and a goat; a pop-up model of considered one of her favourite childhood books, “The Little Prince”; and Crayola markers with paper so Eliana would cease draining her mother and father’s provide of copy paper when she attracts.
As a toddler, Ms. Kenney stated, she was bullied due to how her artistic persona manifested itself. She felt ashamed, and it wasn’t till later in life, along with her uncle’s assist, that she tapped again into her imaginative facet.
Noticing that she and Eliana had comparable personalities, Ms. Kenney wished to nurture Eliana’s artistic inspiration and supply a optimistic affect, one thing she had lacked rising up.
Eliana’s mother and father discovered that she modified over the previous 9 months, too. Through Sapphire’s encouragement, she was turning into extra imaginative and type throughout a time when she wanted a job mannequin because the pandemic halted her yr in preschool.
Ms. Kenney inspired Eliana to write down tales, which led to “Sapphire the Explorer.” It included illustrations and a track that solely fairies can sing (and skim). Ms. Pauls helped with punctuation and turning her textual content into pages.
Eliana usually thought of Sapphire and wrote to her, asking what the pores and skin of fairies felt like and what issues Sapphire owned. Ms. Pauls stated that Eliana would choose up objects like a rock and take into consideration how Sapphire may use it as a desk or dreamed of how to catch the fairy.
“She’d never seen me, but this relationship we have is definitely love,” Ms. Kenney stated about Eliana. “She’s just as magical to me.”
Then the journey encountered a plot twist. Ms. Pauls let Ms. Kenney know in mid-November that that they had closed on a home in south Los Angeles and could be shifting from the West Side, leaving the neighbors to are likely to the fairy backyard.
Ms. Pauls requested Ms. Kenney to assist assist Eliana, who was having problem dealing with the transfer. Ms. Kenney advised Eliana in a letter that she would additionally transfer — out of the backyard to a much bigger tree for Sapphire and her rising cat.
“Sometimes, we outgrow homes because we have too much love and need a place we can hold it all,” Ms. Kenney wrote. “But it is so fun to find new trees and imagine what new adventures are in store for us!”
Eliana’s mom and Ms. Kenney deliberate to satisfy because the household stated goodbye to their neighborhood on Dec. 11. Ms. Kenney and Eliana’s mother and father have been examined for the coronavirus days earlier in an effort to make sure the go to was secure. In one other letter, Ms. Kenney hinted to Eliana that she could be coming to get her remaining issues and that fairies develop to be human-sized when they’re shifting.
Dressed in character, with pointy fairy ears, Ms. Kenney walked as much as the tree and, as she rummaged across the backyard, pretended to look startled by Eliana. But Eliana was the one who was surprised and overcome with emotion. Ms. Kenney crouched down they usually started to talk about Nova the cat and what life is like as a fairy.
“Every time, it was always this sweet, sweet moment where I felt so strangely known by the stranger,” Ms. Pauls stated concerning the letters. “Through this whole exchange, she’s become family in a way. It’s a really unexpected way to find a friend.”
Ms. Kenney continues to deliver the magic to Eliana by means of letters and video chats. But there may be extra to be discovered when Eliana makes one other fairy backyard at her new dwelling, and hopefully, one other fairy will transfer proper in.