“Do you know what I think about when I’m bored at church?”
I looked down at the little girl and considered this question. “Lydia, I can honestly say that I have no idea,” I said. I knew that any guess I could possibly make would never come close to the magic that was really going on inside this little pixie’s mind.
The pixie bowed slightly and took a deep breath, which is how pixies prepare to do their magic. “Well. When I’m bored in church, what I do is I look around the room at all of the people.” she craned her neck and squinted, pantomiming the act of examining everyone in the room. “And I look at them and look at them. And I say to myself. ‘Okay, Lydia. Who’s hair do you like today? Who’s shirt looks interesting? Who looks like they are in a good mood and ready for an adventure?'”
I made myself comfortable. The girl wasn’t even ten percent of the way through her breath yet, and I could tell this was going to be a long ride.
She was jumping around the room now. Pretending to do cartwheels and standing on her head for no apparent reason. And the whole time she was still explaining, “And when I have picked all of these different parts, I put them together into one person, in my mind. I take one person’s hair, and another person’s face, and I put them on someone else’s head and shoulders. Then I steal someone’s fingers and put them on some other person’s arms and have them wear the shirt of the person next to them. And I put them all together like Legos and build someone completely different -a brand new person that has all my favorite parts- and I take that person and I make up a story about them. I make them go on an adventure. Sometimes they climb mountains or they go to the mall or they fight pirates or something.” While she explained this my eyes got wider and wider and the little pixie acted out every action perfectly swooping across rocky chasms and stabbing foul smelling pirates in the arm as they tried to board her ship.
She continued describing the adventures. Still only halfway through that first great magical breath of air. She was like a deflating balloon set loose in the room bouncing off of windows and door frames. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, she seemed to completely forget that I was even there. She was just throwing her dreams up against the wall like buckets of paint and I was just another lamp on an end table that was getting splattered with some of the rainbow colored dream dots.
The pixie spun once more in the middle of the room and then fluttered down the stairs into the basement, and continued fluttering until her stories and adventures became too distant to hear.
“Huh,” I said to the now silent room. “Neat.”
So, if you ever think of it someday while you are sitting in church, look around and maybe, just maybe, you will see a little pixie of a girl on the far side of the room eyeing you sideways with a curious smile. And you can know that your hair is off on some adventure in an exotic jungle. Or your fingers are gripping the skids of a helicopter high above a city. Or perhaps your nose is on your sister’s face, and you are wearing your other sister’s clothes and together, this beautiful Frankenstein creation is solving mysteries at the mall with Gertrude her pet calico cat. Who knows actually. There could be anything locked behind that curious smile.