Whatever happened to fairyland?
A dear friend is on my heart today. Weighted down by life, she was wondering where all the fairies had gone. My heart hurts for her. I have yet to experience grief quite like hers. But I can relate when it comes to growing up. When our world becomes consumed by diapers and laundry piles, husbands working late hours, dreams put on the back-burner. I can relate to seasons where it's a little harder to laugh, a little harder to run through the Autumn leaves quite so freely. I can understand a heart that finds it a little harder to love, a little harder to trust.
When I was a little girl, I played day and night with my dolls, I adored them. They lived entire lives in my day-dreams. Even into High School I would dress them for the different seasons. There's a certain amount of innocence in a teenage girl that does that. And I was glad my mom let me do it. She encouraged my imagination to grow. But then a day came that the dolls got left behind. I moved off to college, picked out a career plan, and jumped into the future. Now the dolls sit in a box in the shed, waiting for my daughter to become old enough to play with them. Why do little girls have to outgrow dolls at all? Why must they leave that land of make-believe?
Reality can be so harsh at times. This can hit us at any age.
When life gets hard, adults believe that they have to leave their imaginations behind. They decide that it's time to "grow up." They push the dolls and fairies and make-believe worlds into the past. There's no time for them any longer. Make-believe is only for children, they say.
Dreams are left behind.
But what of those dreams? Is there something to be said for those dreams and beliefs we have as children?
"Some people were bringing little children to Him so He might touch them, but His disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me. Don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you: Whoever does not welcome that kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' After taking them in His arms, He laid His hands on them and blessed them" (Mark 10:13-16, HCSB).
Children are beautiful. Their innocence, their love, their dreams, are so precious. Jesus recognizes this, He sees the beautiful nature of their imaginative hearts. It's their very faith in the unseen that He commends and encourages us to follow after.
So perhaps, fairyland isn't such a bad thing. Yes, we may come to a point that we know the difference between imaginations and reality, but maybe we shouldn't be so quick to discredit the unseen.
I know I could use a little more make-believe in my life, a little more laughter, a little more joy. Isn't that one of the very reasons I turn to books? To delve into another world, to enjoy the suspension of disbelief. To remember what its like to have the faith of a child.
I truly believe that God gifted us with imaginations for a reason: He wants us to dream. He pays attention to the desires of our deepest heart. (see Psalm 37:4). He wants us to believe in the seemingly impossible.
And that's my prayer for you today, dear friend. That even when you can no longer see the fairyland, you'll trust in an unseen Creator who is working in the midst of your life. And that, maybe, you'll see fairyland through the eyes of your children.
"There is such a place as fairyland, but only children can find their way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and this is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of the common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland" Lucy Maud Montgomery, "The Story Girl."