Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels or those of you who have just hopped aboard. I am the final stop on our special edition of the Magical Blogorail.
a fragile young girl
left wonderland much wiser
woman in motion
I never liked Wonderland. It was too strange, too dark, too confusing for me. I read Lewis Carroll’s classic, but it never became one of my favorite books. To me, as bizarre as its landscape was, Wonderland was far too much like reality – disorganized, difficult, and confusing. I guess, in a way, that was the point; Alice in Wonderland was a tale about growing up and learning to appreciate what’s around you.
I often hear people talk about wanting to take their children to Disney “before they get too old for it” or planning to “go to Disney for the kids.” And I shake my head. As magical a place as Disney is for children, I don’t think we really appreciate its magic and wonder until we, like Alice, grow up a bit.
Children visiting Disney find magic in seeing the wonders of their imagination made real. They believe wholeheartedly, unreservedly, with the utter commitment of childhood. That belief is a shimmering, breathtaking thing to see; it is something we treasure. But if we stop to think about why we treasure it, we quickly realize that it is precious because it is fragile. It’s going to be lost. All children grow up (except one), and so that unreserved acceptance of Disney magic is priceless because life, the “real world,” is going to quickly steal children’s ability to believe that the wonders of their imagination can be summoned up before them.
It’s true; life does steal the fragile childhood faith in imagination made flesh. But if the longing for wonder and magic remains with us, growing up gives a gift of its own. We may no longer simply and inherently believe the wonders put before us are “real,” but we do gain a new sense of joy in choosing to believe in magic and imagination. Unlike the transient faith of childhood, we don’t just accept – we understand exactly how precious a gift the marvel of Disney is. We know how rare an opportunity it is to escape from responsibility and expectation and be free to believe. We know that Disney is offering us a dream, a better place, a better world filled with hope. And, as adults, we appreciate how remarkable that is; we are inspired by it, and we find our spirits renewed.
I am not a girl anymore; I’m a woman, and I’m proud of that fact. I am a teacher, a wife, a mentor, a responsible homeowner. I am constantly moving, constantly straightening my shoulders under the burden of a shifting weight of duties and responsibilities. But I don’t regret the loss of the fragile faith of childhood, because I have a new, precious gift. I still believe in magic, and when I doubt, I have Disney to remind me. When hundreds of voices swell around me in front of the castle stage at Walt Disney World chanting “Dreams Come True,” I can smile through tears of inspiration and joy. I’m not a child; I know that dreams don’t just naturally come true, but I am a woman who believes that, with so many of us believing together…they can come true.
Thank you for joining us for this special edition Magical Blogorail Loop. If you are looking for more information about JB Conway’s haikus, you can go to the Mouse of Zen Facebook page. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard: