My friend created a fairy ring at the base of an old pine tree in a wooded area of the park we both walked in every day. Sometimes she left me little gifts or written messages in a plastic bag. I answered her fairy rings with a slight change of her design of pine cones and leaves, or would draw a new circle with a stick and make a new ring. I’d infrequently leave her one or two of my poems in a small plastic bag. The next day she’d leave a small disc on a string where she’d written Thank you!

She believed in fairies. Not me (but I didn’t tell her that). She told me she saw them and they were very real to her and spoke to her. She was tiny, too, like a fairy. Less than five feet tall with very blonde, short hair and clear blue eyes. She was Irish so I just believed what she said about fairies. But I never saw fairies and they didn’t speak to me nor did I believe in them.

We must have created those fairy rings, in the very same spot, for about three years. Then one time we had an argument, and she persisted when I wanted to just apologize, right or wrong, and move on. We stopped talking. We’d even attend the same party with our mutual friends and wouldn’t look at or talk to each other. It was very uncomfortable. I still loved her as a friend, and I missed her very much. Every day I passed our now vacant fairy ring, looking, hoping for a sign. Perhaps she did, too. But the space was empty, untouched, and sad.

Finally, after a year, I left her a set of poems I’d written about autumn and enclosed a leaf in a plastic bag. I built a small ring for the fairies and her, and placed my gift in the middle of the ring.

By the next morning she had put one of her discs on a string in a plastic bag and had written Thank you! on one side, and They’re lovely on the other.

I walked the rest of the way home with my dog, plastic bag in my pocket, smiling the whole three blocks. I told my dog the story of the fairy ring and my friend and how happy I was. My heart was singing.

I still have that small disc and it hangs on a small shrine in my home, wherever I live, to remind me of friendship and fairies.