Neverland

"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this...."

I didn't grow up on Peter pan. My parents never sat me down and read the book, and I don't remember loving  the Disney animation so much as I loved... lets say, Aladdin, or Beauty and the Beast. And yet as I age, I find it becoming an intricately connected part the whole that is me.

Peter Pan. The boy who will not grow up. Recently I watched the live action movie, and not a single motion picture can make me grin so hard, can so completely enthrall me... yet make me so sad at the same time. It's not a pitying sadness. Or a longing, but a deep, jagged aching that tears at me inside. It'll be at little moments. Flying with the fairies, or fencing with pirates while soaring through the air and zipping through the trees. Maybe longing is closer. Maybe home sickness for a land where there's no seam between the ocean and a star studded sky.

But it's never been Wendy I felt connected to. Why, who is it you ask? Of course it's Peter Pan. No matter if I read the book, or I watch the movie, I feel a deep likeness to this boy who never grows up. A boy who's only joy, and laughter, and innocence and adventure. Especially adventure. Some time ago I wrote a little about this same topic called, Like Peter's shadow sewed to his feet.

You see, before I even started getting into Peter Pan and Neverland the thought of growing up put a sour taste on the back of my tongue. All around me people would bitch and complain about work. About hurt, about doing things they detested just to get by. And always without fail it would be followed by a shrug and, "It's just part of growing up."

Part of Growing up? Part of growing up is dashing your dreams in the dirt? Growing up is going through each day on repeat? Like some wind up toy? Never. I couldn't have it. If my life were to be nothing more than day after day of a useless, pointless existence... well I just couldn't live it.  After all, "To die would be an awful big adventure."

"He[Peter Pan] had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know; but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be forever barred."

But all children must grow up. However, to grow up, doesn't mean to grow bitter, or cross. And yet, still, the thought brings that sadness back. That longing for a home where all you need to fly is happy thoughts, and a little bit of fairy dust. 

Maybe that's why I write. Because when I do, I get to go to Neverland even though I'm awake. I must dream about it three, four times a month at least. When I write I can watch the mermaids, and swim through the night sky like it's a vast, swirling sea. And best of all, no one can tell me I can't. That it's impossible, that it's childish to think this, that I'm crazy to believe in that and I can go on all the adventures I want.

You never stop being a child. Your body might grow weak, your eyes might get tired. But your heart can stay light and filled with joy, if only you believe it can. The day my dreams come true, is the day I'll fly, and I wont have to close my eyes anymore to picture a Neverland all my own, because I'll live it every day. I'll be Peter Pan. The one who never grew up.  

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