9 : Red Rock Fairy


The sun said goodnight
Then lay down on red rocks
Red rocks stretch to the sky
Then they touch the red creek

The day is over it’s now time to go

I leave the creek
And the red rocks behind me
But a whispering wind
Reminds me of you

As the breeze touches me I feel empty handed

I think how you’d like
A red rock to hold on to
Red rocks everywhere
But not one’s right for you

So the moon sends a fairy to find one for me

Her hands feel gritty
From the red rocks she touched
Her wand leaves a dust trail
I can clearly see

So I follow it quickly and carefully

At the end of the trail
A red rock at my feet
This red rock with a picture
Of a kind tiny fairy

The rock’s in my hand it feels warm and dusty

So I carry it gently
As I leave the red rocks
Carry it so very gently
As a gift just for you


Why I wrote Red Rock Fairy:


Red Rock Fairy, unlike the traditional Kachina, is not a borrowed Native American spiritual tale, but one created out of my imagination through some very real and surreal events I experienced.

Although I was born in a traditional religious family, I was brought up under very liberal views. My mother and father chose to disassociate from the religion they had been brought up in when I was quite young. This allowed, not only greater freedom for open discussions, but it provided an opportunity to explore further thoughts on other beliefs and traditions.

I gave some thought to religion or baptism before you were born, and although your father and I chose to not ascribe to a specific religion, the basis of respect and understanding for all living things was one I lived by and translated to you throughout your childhood. I had looked forward to explore these, and other topics with you in greater detail and depth as you matured. Unfortunately, our relationship, thrown into turmoil as you neared your teen-aged years, for too many reasons to get into here, led to a distance between us I often find difficult to comprehend or accept.

Nevertheless, when remembering the wonderful years we shared together as mother and daughter, I continue to hope that someday, we might travel and explore new regions together as I once had hoped to revisit Arizona with you and my mother.


How I wrote Red Rock Fairy:


The sun said goodnight
Then lay down on red rocks
Red rocks stretch to the sky
Then they touch the red creek

The day is over it’s now time to go

While visiting Cathedral Rock, an amazing location just outside of Sedona, I was once again in a very pensive and peaceful state of mind.

As the poem suggests, the day was coming to an end, and for some reason, which I cannot recall right now, we suddenly had to leave.


I leave the creek
And the red rocks behind me
But a whispering wind
Reminds me of you

As the breeze touches me I feel empty handed

After enjoying the peaceful sound of the flowing river while cooling my bare feet in its shallow current, I headed away from the water’s edge. Less than fifty feet away from the river, a breeze gently brushed against my arm, triggering a tingling similar to what I had felt while sitting on the Sedona rocks. Urged to come to a full stop, I immediately turned back and headed towards the creek to find a rock for you.

This is how the Red Rock Fairy poem originated. I hadn’t found the rock yet, and I hadn’t even thought of writing it.


I think how you’d like
A red rock to hold on to
Red rocks everywhere
But not one’s right for you

So the moon sends a fairy to find one for me

The thud of the van door closing from a distance, followed by, “Hurry up! We have to go!” in no way hampered my determination. I stuck to the inspiration tugging at me, scanned the riverbed at lightning speed, and there it was. It wasn’t until I sat back in the van, when I had a closer look at the rock that I came to see what was on it.

Although the moon may not have sent a fairy, what appeared to be white calcium deposits naturally took the shape of what I came to see as the Red Rock Fairy.


More on how I wrote Red Rock Fairy:


Her hands feel gritty
From the red rocks she touched
Her wand leaves a dust trail
I can clearly see

So I follow it quickly and carefully

This is where the poem departs from what actually occurred and heads into the direction of my imagination to create the tale of a Red Rock Fairy.

I used the texture of the red sandstone to describe how the fairy’s hand felt. The white calcium deposit on the rock is what triggered thoughts of fairy dust, and although there wasn’t a fairy dust trail to be seen, the overwhelming urge that led me to the rock, in many ways to this day, I consider to be somewhat magical.


At the end of the trail
A red rock at my feet
This red rock with a picture
Of a kind tiny fairy

The rock’s in my hand it feels warm and dusty

This red sandstone, the exact same color as the massive Cathedral Rock that was lit up by the glowing setting sun, is how I came to add the warmth of its feel as I carried it in my hand.

When looking at the rock again, decades later, I’m still amazed by the series of events that initially led me to it. This, and the natural image stamped on it, resulted in the theme of this tale, which began when you were just two years old.


So I carry it gently
As I leave the red rocks
Carry it so very gently
As a gift just for you

Some people might perceive the series of events I experienced as being coincidental, while others might be inclined to interpret it as spiritual. I’ve come to regard moments, such as the one that led me to write and create Red Rock Fairy, as some form of transcendental moment. Whether considered as a message or a gift – these special fleeting moments have occurred frequently over my lifetime. Few of which I have shared with anyone, as I have this one.


Drawing from the poem:


Uncertain whether the red rock I found was still in your possession, I drew an abstract rendition of the Red Rock Fairy tale. Unfortunately, I no longer have it. Not only did I have several drawings in the backpack that was tossed in the ocean while I was working on completing Becoming a Poem, but the device on which I saved electronic files with everything I ever wrote, was also tossed for a swim in the sea. As traumatic as that event was, it’s rather ironic considering the several poems and tales I wrote about a character living undersea!

Thankfully, having emailed you a copy of Becoming a Poem, I was able to return to it without having to start all over again. Another thing I’m very grateful for is that you still had the rock with the fairy on it.

The photo you emailed not only made it possible for me to include the actual image validating where the tale originated, but more importantly, it started my morning with a smile and it filled my heart with joy. Furthermore, it goes to show how there is nothing about Becoming a Poem that could have come to be without you.

There were no adjustments or enhancements applied to the photo, just as there were none to the rock. The only alteration I made to the image was to remove the background, allowing the Red Rock Fairy to stand on its own.


Thank you for inspiring me to create Red Rock Fairy


Red Rock Fairy

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