Do you remember the scene in Finding Neverland when Peter Pan asks the question? Who claps the soonest with great vigor? It’s the grandmother, the one who disdained J.M. Barrie’s childlikeness, the one whose frown was permanently etched on her face from taking on so many responsibilities. But now she was losing her daughter and desperately needed to believe. And the door of wonder opened for her ever so slightly.

I never used to believe in fairies. Though only in my 20s, the frown crease in the middle of my forehead was already fixed. Life was about responsibility, external morality, and tight time management. I forgot wonder and how to relax. And my body and soul paid the price.

Many, many circumstances altered the course my life was taking. I’ve written more of this story in detail already, if you’re interested. But like the grandmother in Finding Neverland, once I understood opening my heart to wonder would help heal the pain, I clapped loud and vigorously.

It continues to take me by surprise, however, the hard work involved to stay open to receive the gifts of simple beauty. Circumstances and stress push in, crowd out, and multiply like the dust under my couch. Just this week my family’s dealt with poison oak, sleeplessness caused by headgear, dental extractions, and a lost election, just to name a few. A friend experienced her first surgery, a double mastectomy, knowing this is only the beginning of the process. Fires rage in my beloved state. The phone rings, the dishes pile, the traffic’s detoured and now we’re late. Push. Crowd. Squelch. Fairies? Wonder? Enchantment? Pfft…

But this world IS enchanted. Children know it. Spring always comes. And what a thrill my soul tasted when I finally understood adult responsibility didn’t mean a life of no wonder, but a life of preserving it~for my sake, my loved ones’ sake, and those my path crosses, including yours. It’s not a belief that ignores suffering and avoids stress at all cost, but always holds out the hope that it’s not the end of the story.

Are you struggling to believe in fairies; that there’s more to this life than what you immediately perceive? I suggest you stop right now and brew yourself a pot of tea. Take it to your outside, wherever that is, and breathe in…deeply. Listen for the wonder.

It’s there…waiting…