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Monday, June 26, 2017

Neverland

I recently fell in love with a most imaginative production of James M. Barrie's Peter Pan story called "Peter/Wendy." It was performed outdoors at our university's free summer theatre to an audience of all ages, but at least on the night I saw it, largely adults. (The weekend performances bring in the most children, especially with a kids' show as a lead-in.)


"Peter/Wendy" brought back loads of memories, not the least of which was sitting in front of the television set, raptly engaged in the Mary Martin musical production in the 1950s. As Peter, she flew through the Darling's bedroom hunting for a lost shadow. Peter encounters Wendy Darling who awakens from her bed. "Boy, why are you crying?" she asks. And thus, begins a friendship that takes Wendy (and in the television version and book, her two brothers) to Neverland, where children don't grow up and pirates (albeit comic ones) abound.


After I watched the program, I took my little curly-headed girl self and did as so many others did -- I went to my bedroom and leaped off of it, thinking as many lovely thoughts as I could and hoping to fly.

Some things never get off the ground. I was one of them. At least back then. Now? I'm not so sure.


Seeing "Peter/Wendy" not only brought back memories of my dismal attempts to fly, it also set me thinking of Neverland. In the song from the musical, Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote:

"I have a place where dreams are formed and time is never planned. 
It's not on any chart. You must find it with your heart. Never, Neverland. (Listen here:)


"It might be miles beyond the moon or right there, where you stand. 
Just keep and open mind and then suddenly you find, Never Neverland."

Just think about it. A place to go where you have your own heaven, "right there where you stand." A place where there are fairies and pirates.


And the pirates aren't too scary. They simply want to be loved. They may fight their battles and fight them hard. But perhaps they just need a mother, someone to take care of them, tuck them in.


"You'll have a heaven if you stay there, more precious far than gold. 
For once you have found your way there, you can never, ever grow old."

Have you found your Neverland? Your spot where you feel and yes, even are young at heart forever? Is it in the giggle of a baby or the purr of a cat? The wagging tail of your dog or the first blossoms of spring after a long winter? The touch of someone you love or the sight of something that takes your breath away.


When I saw "Peter/Wendy," I was reminded not only of the joys of flying, of running away from home to new adventures -- but also of the worries of the parents when their children have gone so mysteriously away.  Don't we all worry about the kids who aren't under our watch anymore? Maybe they have grown up -- but have they really? And don't we all want to "leave the nightlights on," hoping for their safe return?


We all have our battles to fight. Some are big ones, some far less dramatic but equally important at the time. Some are internal, some are with other people.


Sometimes we are tied up in knots or feel like a prisoner. And other times, we're finding mermaids and fairies.


And when those fairies are in peril, we clap our hands and believe. And if we believe enough, they return to life.


If we can find our Neverland, those pirates and perils may not seem quite so big. If we can believe and bring fairies back to life, can't we believe in ourselves enough to triumph over the things that seem daunting? And can't we discover how to get there?

"And that's my home where dreams are born and time is never planned. 
Just think of lovely things and your heart will fly on wings forever. In Never Neverland."

My early flying attempts fell flat on the ground. But now, I think I just might have it under control.

If you want to relive a little bit of Mary Martin's Neverland, HERE YOU GO!



(Hats off to Deric McNish and the cast of "Peter/Wendy" at Michigan State's Summer Circle Theatre. When a play sticks with a person and makes them think -- especially one so familiar -- you're doing something very right indeed!)

Happy to link to  Share Your Cup where we share things that make us happy! (Lovely thoughts and up you go!)

28 comments:

Marilyn Miller said...

How I would love seeing this in person. It looks totally delightful! Oh yes, I do believe that some day I will fly. I can dream, can't I? Happy week, dear friend. And away I go to Never, Never Land!

Katie Clooney said...

I loved Mary Martin and her production of Peter Pan! Looks like you saw a fabulous show. Have a wonderful week, Jeanie!it

Barbara Windle said...

Jeanie, I still remember watching Mary Martin playing Peter Pan on television. Some things just stick with you. I took my granddaughter to see the play at a local theatre. The look on her little face when Peter flew out over the audience was so precious. After the show she met Peter back stage. He gave her some fairy dust to hold on to. I think I still have it in a plastic bag. Peter gives us all hope that if we want something enough we can make it happen.

Valerie-Jael said...

What a fun post. I always loved Peter Pan and Wendy, saw it at the theatre in London when I was a kid, it was so magical. Hugs, Valerie

Red Rose Alley said...

Sounds like a delightful production, Jeanie. And you got many close-ups so we could see the fun costumes. I love your words about the fairies and the worry of parents when they see their children leave the house. I remember it was so hard when the girls moved out, and they were only 19, but so determined to make it on their own.

I'd love to see this production. It sounds like you had a fun time.

~Sheri

Pam Jackson said...

Oh how cute. That looks like it was a lot of fun.

Joanne Huffman said...

I imagine there are lots of us who remember sitting in front of the tv being entirely enchanted by Peter Pan, clapping for Tinkerbell to live, and singing 'I'm Flying" as we jumped off our beds, not flying.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a fun production to see. I love that it has stuck with you and really made you think! I remember being enraptured by movies like Peter Pan! I haven't seen the Mary Martin version, though, only the Disney cartoon version.

Things like traveling, hearing a baby giggle, getting sucked into a book, and hugs from my nieces and nephews are things that make me feel forever young!

Victoria Zigler said...

Fun yet thought-provoking post.

I don't ever remember trying to fly after watching Peter Pan. I remember watching it, but no flying attempts. That's not to say I didn't make any, just that I don't remember making them. Either way, these days it would have to be an extremely happy thought to make me light enough to get off the ground, that's for sure!

Success with flying or not, I think we all still have that child inside who just wants a Mother to tuck them in and tell them stories.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh my comment didn't go through!

The French Hutch said...

Mary Martin, oh just the name brings up sweet memories of wonderland! Which of us seeing this as children didn't dream of flying, but I knew I couldn't do that, as my parents explained. I'm sure this was wonderful entertainment and I enjoyed it through your post, thank you Jeanie.........Happy flying today!

Laura said...

Its looks like a fun very nice to read Alway enjoy your blog

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've never seen Peter Pan, so this was all new to me. I enjoyed the photos you shared and the quotes, too. It all seemed to bring the play to life. Thanks for sharing Neverland with us and for allowing me to believe anything is possible.

Silver Willow said...

How fun!

Sandra Cox said...

A great, positive post, Jeanie. And it's nice to think that our never land can be all around us:)
Hugs,

My name is Erika. said...

Outdoor theater is always fun. I love the informality with all the different chairs which I am guessing is because its a bring your own. I haven't been to an outdoor show in a couple of years, and I guess maybe I should think about it this year. :) Hope all is well. Hugs-Erika

BeachGypsy said...

My happy neverland is playing mermaids and fairies with our granddaughter! This is an anazing post-- truly beautiful and thought provoking-- enjoyed it so much my friend!!!

BeachGypsy said...

Ps-- i wrote a little story about the mermaids back last may i think it was-- you might like it

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I remember watching Mary Martin in Peter Pan on TV. It was truly magical to me. Free theater is an awesome gift to enjoy! Thanks for your sentiments...love your writing!

Lynne said...

I agree with someone above . . . what a fun post . . .
I enjoyed a "neverland" kind of day today . . .
I think I was flying . . .

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Jeanie,

Such a lovely post for this Summer afternoon as I sit here dreaming and listening to Mary Martin.
Seems that my "neverland," is right in my own backyard.

Jemma



Anonymous said...

Loved this post.

I was raised on Mary Martin's Peter Pan (as well as every possible Broadway musical and The Wizard of Oz). My sister and I would sing the entire record album at bedtime when we couldn't sleep. Thanks for the memories!

Bonnie said...

Delightful post. You write so beautifully and have such wisdom and insight about life.

I am so glad you were enthralled with the play as when you were a child. I enjoyed your memories.

thepaintedapron.com said...

Looks like a wonderfully creative production! What child doesn't wish to fly! Thanks for the fun Jeanie,
Jenna

La Table De Nana said...

I missed this post! Great pics..my Neverland? My Littles and my gardens..for now:)

Olka said...

I don't know this play, I would like to watch it <3

Anonymous said...

...to triumph over the things that seem daunting
...just think of lovely things


Thank you for this most magical reminder, dear fairy friend. ;)
xoxo
Marcia

Jann Olson said...

It sounds wonderful! I'm so glad that you got to go. Oh, if only I could still leap off of my bed. lol! My old knees just aren't what they use to be. I will just dream of flying! :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

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