Life, Musings, Personal, Writing

The magic of childhood

Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.
John Betjeman

When I was little, I used to think the sun and moon were the same thing and just looked different depending on the night or day. I suppose because when it’s light you can hardly see the moon and at night you can’t see the sun. That was my childhood logic at work – a time when everything seems magical and wonderous and you can’t explain the world around you.

Now I know that the sun and moon are different things and if I look hard enough I can see them both on a clear day.  Things can be explained now. I have knowledge and logic. My point is the world looks completely different to you depending on how old you are and what point of life you’re at. As you grow up, your sense of magic and wonder will always fade because you know why things are the way they are.

Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day“:

I don’t know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you’re not scared of anything at all
Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you’re talking to me
It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy’s smart and you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

I think that’s why I love to write. I can go back to that childhood state of imagination and magic and conjure up people and places without being bogged down by knowledge or logic. I can hold on to the magic of childhood.

Many wonderful things happen when you’re a child but also when you grow up, and the key is not to forget about them but to hold them in your heart and they will shape the person you are, have always been and will always be.

Everything I write comes from my childhood in one way or another. I am forever drawing on the sense of mystery and wonder and possibility that pervaded that time of my life.
Kate DiCamillo
What do you remember believing as a child?


30 thoughts on “The magic of childhood”

  1. When I was a kid, I used to personify cars. I thought each car had its own personality and way of thinking/speaking. I was an odd child. 🙂

  2. When I was a child I believed that babies were delivered by storks and placed on the doorstep, that if you were unterwater and held your breath for long enough you turned into a mermaid and that wishing on the first star in the night sky was always the most important thing you could ever do. I still wish on the first star in the sky sometimes, just because it’s fun to say the poem before you make the wish :]

  3. We lived by the woods growing up. I wasn’t afraid of spiders, or snakes. I would play in the dry creekbed and have a house in a fairytale land (like the boxcar children but in the forest).

  4. When I was little I believed in fairies and made up stories about them, mum always said I lived in my own little fantasy world. I suppose I still do so maybe I am still a child?

  5. We lived in the country when I was young, and I’ve raised my daughter in the country too. I believed in fairies when I was little, and magic. I didn’t care so much about Santa, but finding out that magic wasn’t real truly hurt my little heart.
    I told my daughter when she was little, that fireflies are fairies ~ out catching a ride at night 🙂

  6. Vix this is great! When I was a kid, I thought my stuffed animals would come alive when I left the room. And, when I was a kid, I thought discarded Christmas trees cried. So sad.

  7. Lovely post Vix! When I was little I was a moon-worshipper. 🙂 I truly believed the moon had special powers (and perhaps it does, just look what it does for our oceans!) I would gaze into my special clear blue ‘lunar goddess ring’ and make wishes. I still remember that magical feeling…

  8. I truly believe I could and would grow up to be a superhero. I now know I can’t do that in the waking world, but I can certainly do it in my dreams and in my stories. You nailed that!

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