"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!)