The Importance of Magic

Do You Believe in Fairies? black line

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats

I drew this mixed-media illustration of Steven Spielberg back in 1996. He’s been a favorite movie maker of mine since I first saw, ET. In my art I have a young Steven pictured as Peter Pan.  The words “Do you believe in fairies?” come directly from J.M. Barrie’s book Peter Pan and Wendy. In the story, Tinker Bell was dying because she drank poison that was meant for Peter. As she was fading away, she whispered that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies. Peter jumped up and shouted to children everywhere, “Do you believe? If you do, clap your hands. Don’t let Tink die!” For those of you who don’t know the story, yes, Tinker Bell pulled through. Believing is a powerful thing.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Mr. Spielberg believes in fairies and all things magical. I do, too. I’ve learned to cultivate enchantment and to be open to being astonished:

I believe in miracles.

I believe that imagination is more important than intelligence.

I believe a child’s capacity for wonder is gold and should be guarded as such.

I believe good always overcomes evil, and if you’re lucky, you may live to see it.

I believe if you can dream it, it can be done.

I believe that someone is going to do it, so why not you?

I believe you are born with all the gifts needed to fulfill your life’s purpose.

I believe all your answers can be found within.

I believe that what you are looking for is looking for you.

I believe you’re never too old manifest your heart’s desire.

I believe that you shouldn’t limit your dreams. Just follow your bliss. What you end up doing may not have even been invented yet.

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

Steven Spielberg has joined forces with Disney to bring Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) to life. It will open in theaters on July 1st. I am already counting the days. The more I feed my sense of wonder, the more possible the impossible seems. Letting ourselves be enchanted, conjures the spark that ignites the flame of possibility. Without hope we would wither away into mundanity. For it’s true, without a little pixie dust, it’s death for most of us.

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Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.

9 thoughts on “The Importance of Magic

  1. Awesome! I found myself saying “yes” out loud as I read this, Sue. I love, “…I believe that what you are looking for is looking for you.” That explains so much. It’s the calling that never goes away — it’s there waiting for you. I get that. I love that.


  2. Beautiful message, Sue. I continue to be blessed with the belief that I had as a child. I remember seeing Peter Pan in a movie theater with my family and I clapped my hands so very hard when Tink was dying. There was a scene in which Captain Hook was sneaking up on Peter. I stood in my seat and yelled, “look out Peter!” People laughed as my father pulled me down to a sitting position.


  3. I grew up on a steady diet of Enid Blyton, and it made me wish I lived in the world of pixies and elves because anything was better than my real world 😀 We used to learn poetry in school back when I was a child, and I remember illustrating the poems we copied off the board with pixies and fairies. It helped to create a world far removed from the one I occupied, and for me, it was a place to relax and be myself.
    I’m glad I had fairies and pixies and elves as I grew up. I think they helped bud and blossom my awareness of angels, which shape and guide my life now.


      • She’s British, and I so loved her books, because she wrote about life in every fantasy tale, be it about pixies and gnomes and elves, or about dolls coming alive at night and having midnight feasts. There was always hope and forgiveness in her stories but never in a preachy way. It always ended in sun and smiles 🙂


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