Like the good kind of ache you can feel after a long hike or a day’s worth of satisfyingly productive manual labor, Terabithia has been working it’s way through my mind all day long.
I’ve started thinking about what I see that gets in the way of what is there. For the children in the story, it was what the mind could see that was important. That’s where the magic happened and bent the bounds of reality while still being real.
I’m going to a place this weekend named for a place of healing in the Arthurian Legend. I’m not staying in the city of Avalon, but close enough (we’ll stop there for a time Friday afternoon, good enough for me). But despite the history of the word, we don’t see a city of healers or anything else that ever bore that name. It’s a small town that some call home and others think of as a stopping point on the way to other things. Some find rest there and healing after different fashions, but does anyone see it as an Otherworld? What is there, I wonder, that we don’t see because our eyes are in the way, closing our mind to something else?
What is here? Redlands. Most of us know why it’s called that (the dirt is red, kind of), but what happens when we look beyond the history to what could be. What fables and myths are waiting to be discovered and told anew to those with an open mind to see a reality that may not be completely real, but is beautiful and full of depth and experience? What stained the earth red here so long ago?
I’m not talking about an escape. I think the story in Terabithia was good about not making the magical land a place to escape the real world, but to see it differently and so understand it better. Jess learns to help others and look beneath the surface of the bully girl to see someone very much like himself just as the troll in Terabithia surprises him by being something child-like and human: ticklish.
What do we find when we close our eyes for a moment and open our minds to other possibilities? What lies waiting for us to create in the hidden corners and folds of reality? I wonder, and the wondering feels good.