So I was traipsing (okay, more like trudging) up the steep trail to the top of our mountain the other day when I was stopped in my tracks. Just off the beaten path, I was astonished to find myself at the threshold of a highly creative wood elf.
Or maybe a wee hobbit. Or a whimsical woodland fairy. Or community conscious troll.
Or perhaps a bonny leprechaun if he turned out to have a thick brogue and a shamrock-green hat.
It was hard to say who lived here … I was pretty sure I could stake out the place all day but would never see the artistic resident called Sparkle. Those who live in tree trunks no doubt have secret second entrances in the event of overly curious humans hanging about.
One thing’s for sure – Sparkle has great taste in home decor. I wonder if he gets Chip and Joanna via a teensy weensie satellite dish up in his tree branches. His/her attention to detail is astounding. And absolutely captivating.
My dormant imagination, buried beneath smothering years of grown-up angst, including recent COVID worry and strife, suddenly sprang to life.
Memories of the mountain troll stories (some friendly trolls, some not so much) rushed back; made-up-on-the-spot, not always sensible stories that I used to tell my oldest – and then only – grandson years ago when he was a tiny new impressionable person walking hand-in-hand with his mimi through these very woods.
We would always carry our stick swords and imaginary bows and arrows in case of attack by the mean mountain trolls peeking from behind rotten tree stumps or hanging camouflaged from tree limbs. Of course the good trolls were on our side, bravely chasing the bad guys away with their toothpick sized weapons.
And happily, good always triumphed over evil.
Back then, every walk was an exciting adventure. Like wandering into Christopher Robin’s 100-Acre Wood. Only without Pooh and Piglet.
Now my little buddy is a big boy – he’s nine and wise and full of world knowledge and the silly trolls have long been cast aside.
I’m thinking Sparkle is trying to tell me something. Like it’s not too late to bring back the magic.
Blaine’s only nine, after all. And he’s got four-year-old twin sibs whose mimi has been so disillusioned or tapped out or maybe just beaten down by the world, they’ve never heard even one mountain troll story. (Although I have introduced my fave beautiful woodland fairy when we glimpse her lounging in the lush mountain foliage now and again.)
I mean really, right about now, wouldn’t we all benefit from a little childhood whimsy?
Hey, I feel pumped. Pumped full of magic. And whimsical fun. And childish delight. Thanks to Sparkle.
I can’t wait till my littles come for a visit next week. Oh, the adventures we’re going to have. The story ideas are already starting to sparkle.
And you, my friend – how do you keep the magic alive in your little world?