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Neverland

This evening I saw Peter Pan at The Lookingglass. They never fail to put on an amazing show. This particular show was special to me because of the connection I feel to the story of Peter Pan.

When I was younger I truly believed that happy thoughts could really get you to fly… if only I had pixie dust. I spent many days trying so hard to fly, thankfully the highest point I tried from was the living room couch. Once my best friend and I put glitter in our hair to see if that would help things. Perhaps it was a good substitute for fairy dust. Turns out, not so much. Also? Very, very difficult to wash out of hair. Our mothers were not impressed.

I’ve always had an obsession with flying. No surprise I guess considering the career I chose. I love being in the air. I would love to feel the wind on my face and the icy clouds whip past as I soar. I want to feel lighter than air. Have you ever stuck your hand out of the car window when you’re driving down the highway and just let it glide along? I want my whole body to feel just like that. When I’m working on the plane there are moments on descent where the plane makes a relatively sudden drop in altitude. If I’m walking down the aisle at those moments my tip toes can barely touch the ground and I almost feel weightless. Incredible.

Anyway, back to Peter Pan. All growing up I firmly believed in Neverland. I never believed in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or any of those mythical figures like a normal child. Neverland however was different. I really believed in it. If only I knew which one the second star to the right was and if only I could find a pixie to sprinkle it’s dust on me I could find it and fly happily away to a land of rainbows, mermaids and eternal childhood. I’ve always been a little afraid of growing up.

And now, I suddenly find myself grown up.

When did that happen? When did I go from daydreaming about castles and horses and strong, independent heroines captured by evil villains to thinking about bills and car maintenance and how well my pants fit? Things used to be so simple.

When I was watching the play I realized something. There’s still a tiny part of me, deep down that believes. I still feel like I’m waiting for a fairy to come to my room and give me the ability to fly away into the night.

It’s not that being a grown up is all bad. There are great benefits like choosing my own bedtime… and other night time activities of the married variety. Maybe I just miss my imagination. It used to be so vivid. Now even when I imagine it gets stuck and I start thinking about cost or logistics. Or where the story is headed. I need to remember how to let go, let my brain dream without trying to structure it.

Maybe if I can find a balance between child and grown up I’ll create a world for myself that’s even better than Neverland.

*I’m taking a break from blogging about India for the weekend. I’ll be back to posting about it on Monday.

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2 Comments

  1. The Never Fairy

    Hooray for Peter Pan! It's charming that you believed in the Neverland. But of course, the part that sucks about growing up is just as much a part of the Pan story as is the part about how staying a child forever would have its downsides, too. That's the rub. Both sides are both great and suck. 🙂 The important thing to remember, I suppose, is that Barrie didn't want to give up playing games… so that could be the 'secret' to it all – being able to see the fun in everything. ANd it sounds like you're able to do that, just by the flair with which you talk about having grown.
    You can also visit Peter again (other than the stage) with these books –
    A story based on Barrie’s own idea for more:
    Click!
    And here's a great 'What if?' adventure (but it's not for the kids!): Click!
    Both are a lot of fun and the only 'other' Pan books worth their salt.
    Thanks for the musings on the great dilemma!
    BELIEVE!

  2. kris

    For me?

    Reconnecting to that innocence of childhood is just magical.

    I don't want to be a child again. But that innocence, that trust, that belief in imaginary worlds? Yes, it is lovely to be taken back to that time, that place, that little girl in me.

    I love the transporting in this post . . .

    Through air, through childhood, through life . . .

    And then back for a moment.

    Love.

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