Some people would probably say I’m still there. Well, it all began with a tree and a monkey.
The timeless story of Peter Pan was first shared with me when I was five and visiting my missionary grandparents in the Philippines. An elderly gentleman with a twinkle in his blue eyes gathered us children beneath the shady boughs of a big tree and read from this wondrous book while his pet monkey ran up and down the trunk chittering at us. I sat enthralled listening to Mr. Mahy’s every word.
It was a simple act of kindness on his part and the beginning of a lifelong love of stories and imagination on mine. I will always be indebted to him. Not that my parents weren’t also gifted in storytelling, but this singular event is still stamped in my mind with images of pixies and sparkly dust that made you fly, Wendy and the lost boys, the bad old croc that swallowed a clock, and the battle of good and evil between fun loving Peter Pan and the heartless Captain Hook.
And I wonder, what exactly is Neverland? A place of magic and adventure where anything is possible, a land of pure enchantment, or does its potential lie within each of us who have hearts to believe? Is it only children who possess this ability or can any of us, beleaguered and cynical though we might be, still reach for the stars?
Clearly, writers believe that. Each of us can bring a bit of wonder into the lives of those within our circle by the tales we weave. Tell your stories, whatever they may be. Share the wonderful gift of imagination, and believe. Someone will be very glad you did. Thank you Mr. Mahy.
Direction to Neverland:
“Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning!”
You might just stay.