In the spirit of giving credit where it is due, I have to acknowledge my cousins Jed and Fon and my Aunt Debbie for generating this whimsical idea that instantly invigorates a backyard. Looking for something to perk up a dreary fence? Want to add a dash of fancy in an unexpected place? Creating a space for children where magic might like to come and linger for a spell?

Why not try hanging a mirror on one of your fences?

I found this mirror online for under $20. My mom also now has a green shuttered mirror in her backyard, as well. I am absolutely in love with this idea this summer. It is a bit of a non-painted trompe l’oeil, giving the illusion of a portal through the fence into another yard or world that looks perfectly realistic. What I adore most is the funkiness of taking an indoor piece and finding it in the yard, as if to say, “Anything novel can happen here.” Nothing is serious about a mirror on the fence; it invites imagination. If it is possible, I am very much focused on “decorating” the backyard right now, an extension of our living space, with quirk and beauty.

Novelty, quirkiness, whimsy, and beauty—all our birds in our hand. That is to say, we can use these gifts inside each of us to add spark to our world, to create works that make us feel joyful.