“There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the 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 that 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 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.”
L.M. Montgomery has been one of my favorite writers from the time I was a tween and I first read Emily Climbs. I was enamored by her main protagonist, Emily, who loved writing, life, nature, and was filled with “gumption.” She experienced “the flash” and from the moment I read about her experience in the text, I felt at home between those pages I eagerly devoured (metaphorically speaking of course 🙂 ). Emily writes, “Words are such fascinating things. . . The very sound of some of them–‘haunted’–‘mystic’–for example, gives me the flash. (Oh, dear! But I have to italicize the flash. It isn’t ordinary–it’s the most extraordinary and wonderful thing in my whole life. When it comes I feel as if a door had swung open in a wall before me and given me a glimpse of–yes, of heaven).” Lovely! She summarized for years how I felt as a small child when stories would sneak up from behind and demand I write them by nightlight (risking my mom or dad catching me awake when I was already supposed to be fast asleep on a school night).
I hope never to forget the feeling when I capture a moment so real, so intense, so full of passion or grief or joy. When I am allowed glimpses into my past from my muses and these backward glances overwhelm me, I can once again BE that barefoot four-year old child riding a green bike with a suede banana seat or I can taste honeysuckle nectar on my tongue or I can inhale the neighbors’ perfumed orange blossoms that fill me with summer calm. I am so grateful for emotions that may be expressed in words, words that are as real to me as this laptop I am typing on or the comfy bed I sleep in or the stir fry I will later make. Today, I was granted this gift of just BEing and I am thankful.