Faith and Trust and Pixie Dust (2002)
“Has the world become so complicated
that happiness has suddenly become so elusive?”
–my sister Rizha
It was payday after all and routine is punching out at 5, getting on the train, heading for Powerbooks to meet little sister, and having dinner together.Depending on our moods and how our day went, we’d debate over and figure out why a psycho thriller, a tearjerker, a funny nonsense, or a feel-good movie was more appealing.We decided it was animation night so we walked into Return To Neverland, and return to Neverland we did…
I was instantly transported back to distant memories of simple joys found in mud puddles, paper boats and airplanes, sandcastles, showers in the rain, and cartoon weekends!When bad hair days didn’t matter and mornings were something to look forward to.Back to a time when I didn’t curse traffic for making me late again, and curse crammed train rides for the run on my pantyhose, and curse some more when the photocopier breaks down before an important presentation.The realization came upon me. I’ve changed and forgotten. Despite childhood amnesia, or whatever it is called, my return gave me the chance to recall the kind of rush felt in believing that, to a child, there is something different about the smell of Christmas morning, newly-mowed lawns, and rain; and that “beautiful” meant seeing sunlight peeping through the leaves atop high trees, or feeling the warmth of the summer breeze against my face.I thought about fresh strawberries and cookies ‘n cream, then smiled and remembered why children are happier people.
In this age of anxiety and restlessness, the potential to succeed or even just to survive is predicted by our track records — elaborate documentations and proofs of how grownup we’ve become.And also, how we coped with what Antoine De Saint-Exupéry referred to as “matters of consequence” (The Little Prince)… these could be inflation rates, credit limits, profit growths, political orientations, post-graduate degrees, prenuptial agreements, cosmetic treatments, account balances, titles, mortgage payments, status symbols, income taxes, insurances, logical explanations, and religion.
Unfortunately for most of us, growing up simply became synonymous to growing old.Peter Pan was the boy who didn’t want to grow up, and never did.For an hour and a half, I took great pleasure in my good fortune of being able to retrace the tracks of the Lost Boys and of reliving my own happy childhood.
There are some people who have grown to mistake cynicism for wisdom.I might hear them say that while half the world thinks of childhood as the happiest moment of their lives, the other half spends lifetimes trying to overcome it.Well, I believe that youth, like happiness, is a state of mind: a consequence of our choices.My allusion to Peter Pan and Neverland should not give the impression that we need to wallow in fantasies and daydreams (adults call it delusions) in order to find happiness.
Children are not happier people because of magic and fairy tales and happily-ever-afters, but because of their belief that good things, even better things, are still ahead of us.Keeping the faith in simple joys.
It has been said that places like Neverland and Middle-earth are found to be “a place to live, a green alternative to each day’s madness here in a poisoned world.”Label it escapism.Even denial.We can come up with more names if only to justify why we have become the hard and bitter grownups that most of us are.Or, we can choose to be happy in the fashion of children that we once were.
As for me, I’m beginning to see the sunlight through the leaves of the trees again.I intend to hold on to that wonderful feeling as much as I hope to keep that memory of my childhood alive.For as long as I can.Like the taste of cookies ‘n cream.And of fresh strawberries sweetened by the sun.