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I remember the box of stationery I received when I was seven or eight years old. It was a gift from a grandma or an auntie, the kind of gift grandmas and aunties gave little girls back then. A box of folded notecards with pictures of fairies on them. Delicate little purple, pink, and green ladies with sparkly wings hovering over flowers. Garden fairies, I suppose, and I thought they were magical.

So magical, I couldn’t bring myself to use them. They sat in their box, tucked away in a drawer under my pastel coloured days-of-the-week panties, for years. I never wrote a single letter to a single person. Not on that stationery, anyway.

When I was older, I cleaned my drawer of the little girl stuff, and in the midst of the tossing of the old underwear and the socks with the holes in the heels, I found the forgotten fairy treasure.

I opened the box, anticipating the thrill I remembered, but it was lost to me. The paper was dingy with the years, and the fairies who had so captivated me seemed gaudy and cheap.

The magic was gone. The time for it had passed and I’d missed it.

I don’t know if the gift was wasted or not. There’s something, I suppose, in hiding away a treasure, keeping it for the single purpose of knowing it’s there.

But it’s better, I think, to use it in the time it is most glorious. Use it up, and let it be what it’s meant to be in the time it’s meant to be it. When it’s at its grandest.

So I mostly wear my jewelry and drink from my crystal and if I lose an earring or chip a glass, well, maybe that’s part of it all.

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