The light from the movie screen flickers across my children’s faces. Ice cream drips down their chins, pop corn nestles in the creases of their clothes. Their eyes twinkle.
Fairies zip across the screen. Pixie dust streams from their toes and their wings shine like glittery crystals. The story is simple; fight for what you believe in, be kind, stay true to your heart, love conquers all. My children are consumed by their choc tops, lost in the magic.
I start to cry. I always cry when I take my kids to the movies.
I can see myself sitting in my tree swing. As an only child, born into a single-parent household, I spent hours by myself. I created vast worlds around me; worlds to lose myself in. I embraced all things magical.
While I sat and swung, I’d sing to myself. Christmas carols, songs from the Sound of Music and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’d make stories up in my head. I’ve always been a story teller, even when I was the only one who’d hear my words. Characters, new worlds, magic spells and story lines would tumble from my mouth. I’d imagine the tree I swung on had a door for me to enter, into a magical land, much like the world awaiting the children at The Faraway Tree. I’d imagine my swing would release itself from the tree and I would fly through the fairy floss clouds to places full of waterfalls and magical creatures. I always wished on stars. I always looked for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and I most definitely believed in Santa. Somewhere in my heart I still do.
My imagination has provided much comfort in my life. When at times I could be consumed with bitterness or anger or sadness, I would instead fill my being with secret stories. I know the power of believing in fairies.
My Mum encouraged much wonderment. On walks to kindy she’d take me down the jungle street. We’d look for the toucans in the trees, step over pythons and hide from the tigers. Monkeys would run from branch to branch. At Christmas, she’d ring bells at my window. Maybe we were both searching for something to fill a void. Maybe we both knew how important it was to imagine a world of possibilities, rather than live in one without hope.
Imagination is free, it encourages inquisitiveness. Dreams can come true.
As the credits rolled on the movie and my children brushed the pop corn from their laps, I glanced around the cinema at the other cinemagoers, mostly Mums with their girls. There sitting alone was an elderly woman. She sat quietly watching us all scramble out. She sat staring at the screen listening to the sparkly music. Her eyes glistened. She too was lost in her past, reliving a time like yesterday when she was a young girl, with a world of possibility ahead of her. Time goes so fast. Death fast approaches.
Tears silently rolled down my cheeks. Life is full of wonder.
Do you believe in fairies?