I have a friend who lives in Asia. One of her sons is sick, off and on, with asthma and related breathing issues. I recently sent the family a care package, including toys and a stuffed animal for the children. I tucked in a fairy as well with an extra jar of fairy dust. I asked the fairy to fly around the hospital to make sure everything is in order, including all of the child’s medical paperwork. She is to stay on the little boy’s shoulder when he’s feeling particularly unwell and getting his breathing treatments; she’ll help the boy eat his meals and to rest peacefully inbetween. The fairy was up for the task. She will report back to me in a fortnight.
There is something inside us that revolts at the idea of a sick child. Particularly with modern medicine, vaccinations and tests, we may think our defenses are enough against the unthinkable. What then do we do when the nights are long, a child cannot breathe and we have no answers?
I wrote the boy a letter, which I’ll mail out tomorrow, as a follow-up to the package. Inside I wrote I was glad the rabbit (the stuffed animal I sent him) was good company for him, especially while in the hospital. I suggested he teach the rabbit some words in his language, as the rabbit is an American bunny. I proposed words like “carrot”, “hello” and “please” as starters. I asked kindly, feeling it would help the bunny adjust better to his new home.
Fairy tales and imagination are wonderful things. C.S. Lewis, to my knowledge, was a strong supporter of them. Let us dream and care through them; let’s wander together, through the great Wonderland of story telling that binds us all across space and time.
Happy writing and wanderings.