As a kid, I was brought up on a staple and wholesome diet of Enid Blyton books. From Famous Five to the Five Find Outers to Secret Seven and the Malory Towers series …. I loved every story written by her. But my all time favorites were the ones where she had an interesting line up of magical characters.
Imps, pixies, elves, goblins, witches, wizards, fairy kings and queens … every single one of these exquisite creatures caught my childish fantasy in ways you could barely imagine. I’d spend days following Mr. Pink Whistle’s do-gooder activities, wait with bated breath for the next magic land to appear on top of the The Magic Faraway Tree, and wonder what new adventure the wishing chair would whisk Molly and Peter on.
But the best part about reading these books? The possibility that a secret world existed no further than your backyard or garden. If only I could only tell you of the number of hours I spent exploring dark corners, climbing trees, and crawling between the plants in the garden, emerging like a disgraced mole up to no good. Such days were way too many for my grandmother’s comfort and too few for a kid who was on a quest to discuss an Elvish land atop the Mango tree or a fairy princess hiding inside the petals of a rose.
Alas! All my hard work came to no good at all. Apart from bruised knees, scraped elbows, and a persistently mud-caked face, I had nothing much to show for my untiring efforts. My magical friends remained elusive. I never got invited to an enchanted ball on a full moon night and neither did I get to drink nectar served in wee little tulips. No half-brownie, half human do-gooder ever came to my rescue when I got into scrapes and no chair in my house sprouted wings and took me to far-off lands.
Not the one to give up, I fell back on my imagination to soothe my frustration. So what if I hadn’t discovered a secret world beyond the garden fence? Who was to stop me from making my own – more beautiful and more wondrous than any place I’d ever read about before?
And I proceeded to do just that – first gingerly and hesitatingly, then more confidently, and finally with a little bit of arrogance, too. It wasn’t everyday I got to play God and create something from nothing – adding, deleting, and substituting elements with a reckless glee that is so particular to children.
This poem is one of my earliest works … the scribbles of a child with an overactive imagination and way too much time on her hands. I can’t help shake my head at the silliness of the whole thing, but I am also startled at the message hidden within it. Damn, some deep kid I was! Also, it’s kinda endearing to look back at the nerdy version of myself that was mesmerized by all things magical and fairy-like. Where did that ragamuffin disappear?
Anyway, setting sentiment aside and without further ado, I present …
Perhaps there is a place where I
Can open my wings and touch the sky.
A place that is only, ONLY mine
Where nothing is bound by the limits of time.
I could sit by a spring all day long,
Watch the birds sing a sweet, sweet song.
From morning to noon to evening to night,
When the stars peep out and the moon shines bright,
I’d still be in the wild, among the trees,
And drink the honey brought in by the bees.
With my bare feet I’d tickle the stream,
Walk on stardust to the land of dreams.
I could play in the field, get wet in the rain,
Not once would I cry … there’d be no pain.
And perchance a tear should escape my eye,
It would be of fun, happiness, and joy.
The sun would shine its gentle rays,
And drive away dark, desolate days.
The wind would blow pleasant and calm,
Bring in gentle showers but never a storm.
Like an emerald rare the grass would shine,
The rustle of leaves would ring a merry chime.
The butterflies would carry on their azure wings
The fragrance of flowers and the promise of spring.
Like a pearl would glitter the morning dew
Each day would bring forth something new.
My heart does say I’ll discover my land,
Where I’ll write my story with my own hands.
Far, far away from this world it would be,
And belong exclusively to me.
And if I love you nearly enough,
Then you too could pack up your stuff,
And come and stay in my land of dreams.
For all your life? Yes, by all means.
And you’ll say “There couldn’t be a more beautiful place!”
I’ll close my eyes and say a grace.
And together we’ll tell the world it’s true
There’s one beautiful world in your hearts too.
All it takes is the courage to say,
“I’ll find my dreams, my world someday.”
With that you’ll feel a warm, soft glow,
And a power that comes when you know,
That in times of despair when you wanna escape,
You, too, have your own secret place.
Where you’ll find the strength so that you,
Can face the world and your troubles anew.
This world of ours we’ll definitely find
Till then it exists in our hearts and mind.