Magical Places

Happy New Year everyone! I know, I’m a few weeks late but this is how it is these days with my ongoing renos at home. Not that I’m complaining…but I miss blogging! The other problem was that the year didn’t start too well. I mean, it was fine for me, but there were several events local, and worldwide, that were upsetting. That is to say, upsetting to me, devastating for those involved. The latest of which, being the earthquake in Haiti. Not that I’m in any way ignoring the importance of these events, but I wanted my first post of the year to be positive. So I will delay posting on more critical events by one post, if you’ll forgive my frivolity.


My four year old daughter came to me today and asked me if I knew about fossils. She didn’t want to know what I knew though…she wanted to tell me what she knew. According to her, they are old footprints from a long, long time ago in the ground. Sure. Good start. I tried to expand on that, but her mind was already on something else.

“Are there Unicorn fossils? How long ago were they on the earth?”

I respond slowly and carefully. “I don’t think anyone has found any. They weren’t really on the earth.”


“Well…where were they?”

This is where being a consistent atheist becomes difficult. When you think about it, the argument against the existence of God is just as applicable to magic, Santa, and all other imaginary things. But in the end I’m more fearful about curbing imagination than I am about being inconsistent. After all, many of the greatest fantasies were born of wild imaginations intrigued with magic. Think J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Gene Roddenbury to name a few. Sure you can claim that Star Trek is based on science…but when one thinks simply of being able to go from one place to another far away at the push of a button or by closing one’s eyes…is it not a fantasy, a little wish for magic – a wish that inspires invention and innovation? So I think, what’s the harm in allowing her to continue to believe in unicorns?

I turn on my kid-brain. “They’re magical creatures. They live in magical places.”

Her eyes light up. “At the end of rainbows?!”

“Uh huh.”

“Can we go sometime?”

“Well, they are very hard to find. Usually you need elves to show you the way. But if you can find an elf…”

She grabbed her backpack full of supplies and took off. Not too much later I heard her having a great discussion with an elf. I smiled to myself. Nope…no harm…just an afternoon of imagination and adventure.

Pure logic can easily dismiss magic, but it would be a boring, and I might dare to say unprogressive, world without it in our dreams and fantasy don’t you think?


16 thoughts on “Magical Places

  1. Your lines made me feel I was watching a movie, high quality picture, I could even see the pores of your skin! Long live writing as long as it narrows the vast distance- I always tend to think of it as an imaginary one.. is it not ?!

    Happy New Year !


    1. Marhaba, my dear, dear friend! So happy to see you here!! 🙂 🙂 And thank you for your comment. I’d like to think distance is only a state of mind. Your friendship definitely helps to narrow the gap! Happiest of New Years to you too!!


  2. It’s completely acceptable to wish others a Happy New Year till the end of January (sounds like a good rule). So here you go, HNY to you too.

    The way you handled your daughter’s inquiry is in perfect harmony with your approach to writing.

    How dull our lives would have been if not for the power of imagination. Where could we ever find hope if not for a flight of fancy.

    A lucky few grow up past childhood and never lose their magical gift. If she follows your footsteps, your daughter will certainly be one of them and the world will be a more beautiful place.

    Thank you for starting 2010 on a high note. There are pernicious people in position of power who will continue to conspire in making this planet much worse than it could be. It is just another grim fact of life. No matter how low a note you’re going to hit in your next post there’s an inherent beauty in your fabulous music.


    1. Thank you, Abufares! Well, then we, with the great gift of imagination, shall conspire to make the world a better place despite the pernicious people, shall we? I find my daughter’s imagination so inspiring. It helps me to think like a kid again…in case I forget. 🙂 It’s always so nice to see you here.


  3. Welcome back Isobel! In spite of certain events, I have had a great 2010 so far. Tell us about your remodeling project!

    Don’t you just love what kids come up with?

    They remind me not to put so much faith in things I can prove, see, touch and logic into existence…you had an excellent answer for her to begin her journey into reconciling imaginary and reality.


    1. Thank you, Kinzi! I’m glad your new year has started out well. I was thinking about you this morning and how I should visit your blog…and voila! There was your comment waiting for me! Kids keep us on our toes and remind us not to take everything so seriously all the time. I love the new way of thinking I’ve developed to handle their wonderful questions! I don’t always do such a good job but it’s fun when it all works out. 🙂


  4. Lovely post! As Abufares said before me, you handled her curiosity just wonderfully. Telling here there are no unicorns would have been like killing a mockingbird. By the way, have you read the book? I recommend it if you haven’t.
    I have a beloved 15-year old nephew who challenged me when he was little. And still does it! Now I have a delicious 2-year old niece, and I hope she can manage to challenge me too.
    Do you know the story of Virginia O’Hanlon?
    ¡Saludos desde Lima!


    1. Hi Gabriela! “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of those books I’ve never read but always thought I should. One of these days, now upon your recommendation, I will pick it up and read it. Thank you. I do not know the story of Virginia O’Hanlon…I’ll have to Google!! 🙂 It’s always great to read your comments!


      1. In the late 1890s, Virginia O’Hnalon sent a letter to The Sun with the question: does Santa Claus exist?
        Your story about your little girl made me think of her. And the mockingbird won’t disappoint you. My favorite literary character ever is from that book.


        1. Yes, of course, Gabriela. “Blush” I know Virginia…I just had forgotten her last name!! (Or never knew it) That’s a great reference!! I shall definitely pick up TKAM…it is a classic for a reason!! Thanks!


    1. Oh, she had WAY fun, Fantasia! She came home with a unicorn and we tried to figure out what to feed it. Apparently unicorns like the same cookies that she does. I suggested it stay with us for a while, but it might be happier back in it’s magical place. She agreed. 🙂


  5. It’s so charming to see a four-year-old inventing adventures for herself and her imaginary friends. Enjoy them at this age. I know I do. They are pure magic.


  6. I have a three year old that just turned three on the 10 of this month and she has a great imagination
    I am a firm believer that you should allow your children to have a great and wider imagination this makes them smarter and it is fun for them.

    I truly enjoyed your story thank you so much for that.

    And Yes Virgina there is a Santa Clause.

    I love children so much and they are so precious at this age.


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