Life is made up of history. My own life has its own history. There are no wars, though there are trials. There are no risings and failings of power. There are no great events that mark my life, just the little things. I celebrated historic holidays, sure, but I also had my own holidays. The Autumn Leaf Festival was just such a one.
A huge tree stood across the road from our South Bay house, and every autumn the winds would throw the leaves down in a flurry. That’s when the wee folk came out. They would ride the leaves to the ground, the daring little people. Sometimes I wished I was that small so I could ride the leaves too.
Thumbelina always laughed at me when I told her that, then she’d go to join the others. Who is Thumbelina? I suppose most folk would call her an imaginary friend, the nice thing about her was that she went nearly everywhere I went—except she would always join the Festival without me.
Thumbelina was as much a tomboy as I was–daring, loved adventure, and was always battling the bad guys. She was spunky, which proved itself especially during the festival. The leaves would come cascading down, sometimes in such a rush that it would take your breath away.
Thumbelina, unlike most fairies, did not have wings; and so riding the leaves made her even more daring. That’s what Tom Thumb liked about her when he met her—she was spunky and feisty, and her eyes lit up when she was having an adventure.
She became somewhat calmer after she married Tom Thumb and they had their daughter Marie. Some folk say that marriage is a cage; I haven’t decided whether or not that is true yet. Perhaps after you get married you can’t ride leaves in the Festival or battle bad guys.
Perhaps once you get married you stand at the dining room window as I did when I was little, and watch as the leaves cascade down while you’re stuck inside. An adult means to be one of the Big People. Even as a child I knew I was human and not a fairy. I would watch the Festival from behind glass, wondering what it would be like to be a fairy and ride a leaf.
Now I’m an adult, I haven’t ever ridden a leaf and I doubt I ever will.