Moonglows and Fairy Drops

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

–Eden Phillpotts




“Mommy, is Peter Pan real?”


Toots asks me a question like that every day. And used to be, I floundered with my answer. Of course, I want to tell her “yes,” unequivocally, indubably, resoundingly yes. Yes! God yes! Please. We need more of your kind. Believers in the fantastic, the magic, the it-can-happen.


But would that be fair? And why not?


As a kid, I believed in magic with all my heart. I really and truly thought that if you wanted something wonderful to happen it would. As a Catholic, I prayed to God, asked for signs, and had faith he’d answer. Quite often he did. Sometimes, he did not. And that’s the truth you negotiate as an adult. Hopefully, you come to learn as I did that there is a reason and a road for everything and everyone. It doesn’t make the unanswered prayers any easier, but there you have it. Whatever the answer, a new path appears and you walk it and still, you never know what lies before you. It’s beautiful, really.


That’s magic. The possibilities are endless. You never know, right? We understand such a small part of this universe, leaving large dimensions unexplored, unseen, unknown. We touch such a small part of what is “real,” who’s to say something is out of our reach?


For me, magic is the possibility. I love “magic times,” when you’re never sure that something is as it seems. Twilight and its blue-glow, fairy willowisps, rainy nights and the silences between booming thunder, midnight drives and the road stretched tantalizingly before you. You know. Those moments when the pendulum can swing either way, nudging us off the ordinary path and into a world beset with stars and Peter Pans.


Once, when I was six, I saw the Tooth Fairy. You’ll never convince me otherwise. Because I absolutely saw her reflected in our Denver apartment window. I wore a nightgown, so much like the ones my daughters wear now, and I twirled my skirt, watching in the glass, occasionally looking beyond myself into the night dreaming of its lights and its quiet and its possibilities. A moment later, I saw a woman hovering in the air before me. Actually, she hung in space just outside the window. She looked exactly right: blonde hair coiled in a bun, a sparkling tiara set in curls. Her taffeta skirt waved a bit in a breeze and she held a wand, which she shook at me. Not taking my eyes off my fairy, I called my mom over, but of course, she didn’t see a thing. She didn’t believe me either. And while it doesn’t matter to me whether you do or not, I’ll tell you again: something ethereal was there.


I’d always been known as a moony child, but that cemented it. No one, no how, no way EVER could tell me that magic wasn’t real. In fact, I still believe it happened, and I still chase after magic. Foolishly, wisely, I run after it, and out of breath, catch it by the tail. More often, I watch for it, certain it’s there, undulating in the half-light, leaving its mist behind. And sure, here and there, my belief dims, but it’s easily stoked, because after all, I keep the embers warm.


So when Toots asks me about Peter Pan or Cinderella or the Magic Bus or a flying carpet, I end up telling her, “Anything’s possible.”


Because it is.




While I was formulating this post, my friend Ellen e-mailed to let me know about an author friend of hers who wrote about a boy named Lawrice in her book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life.


The story resonated with me because Lawrice believed in his possibilities and is now chasing his dream. Read about him here. The story is from three years ago, but Lawrice is now out of his old neighborhood and attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in L.A. Ellen’s friend is gathering some things that Lawrice needs to stay in the school (including some items for his dorm room, if you happen to live in L.A.). If you’d like to know how to get involved with helping Lawrice, e-mail Keri here and she’ll give you details.


16 Responses to “Moonglows and Fairy Drops”

  1. we_be_toys says:

    That is so cool – you saw the Tooth Fairy!

    In spite of what my logic tells me, I do believe in magic. I think the world is a darker, dingier, and drearier place without it, so this is me, clapping my hands and saying, “I DO believe in fairies and magic!”

  2. Karen says:

    Me too, me too! I know exactly what you mean about those places/times when the border between our boring world and the world where magic happens thins so much that you can almost see through. That feeling that any second now, pixie dust can start raining down.

    I never saw the tooth fairy, but I did see Santa’s sleigh one year (after I had “stopped” believing, which made it even stranger). No one believed me either.

  3. I willingly believe. I want to believe because I like the innocence of suspending doubt. When my kids ask if there’s such a thing as Santa or the Tooth Fairy, I always tell them that it doesn’t matter what other people say, but what they feel. I hope they hold onto that magic of it all for a long time, and that when the time comes when they realize some things aren’t true, they can still feel like there’s a chance for something special and magical out there.

  4. deborah says:

    I believe in magic and spirits and another realm and all the things that make life not just more bearable, but rife with limitless possibilities!

  5. Da Goddess says:

    I saw an elf outside our window on Christmas Eve when I was five. And up until the time we moved to California, my grandparents’ backyard was full of fairies and elves and a million enchanted creatures. And now there’s our “friend” who hangs out with my son and I. Oh, I have a ghost cat now, too.

    I believe.

    I believe in magic, magical possibilities, and I believe in letting kids dream as long as possible because, one day, all too soon, they won’t believe in anything or anyone and why push them there now?

  6. I totally believe! To this day I maintain with my 15 year olds that Santa DOES exist!

  7. Oh but my 15 YO’s don’t believe me, by the way…

  8. Myra says:

    I rue the day that Jake will no longer believe in magic – or worse, in his imagination. I love your response to Toot’s question, and have squirreled it away for future use.

  9. I will always believe in magic, in Fairies, in Elves, in the Easter Bunny, and most importantly: Santa Claus…because without them, how could I believe in a “higher power”? (I was also raised Catholic, so faith is second nature to me!)

  10. Green Girl says:

    I love your response, Virginia. Yes, yes there is magic.

  11. mommypie says:

    MP and I look for sleeping giants that might take the shape of mountains, and fairies in the woods, that look JUST like butterflies.

    She believes. I believe. I’ll never stop.

    I LOVE this post.

  12. Galit Breen says:

    Oh do I ever adore this! Believing in magic is a rite of childhood. That is all.

    Fantastic topic, perfectly handled!

  13. Jen says:

    Love. We should all have a little more magic in our lives.

  14. Jen says:

    And I totally hate the “m” word, too.

  15. Barbara says:

    There is no childhood without magic and believing! What a great post…

  16. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    This post is magical! I believe too.

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