I am not a religious person, I do not believe in god. I also don’t write that word with a capital ‘g’ because by turning the word into a name I would put stock in something I don’t believe in. That doesn’t mean I begrudge the beliefs of others, on the contrary; I respect their beliefs as I would expect they would mine. However, as a red-blooded Australian woman I worship at the church of AFL. Seriously though, and more importantly, what I do believe in is Panism.
No, I’m not a Pagan, I do not mean the mythical beast of the underworld. I mean Peter Pan. Except I have specific views on Peter Panism that differ from most adaptations and interpretations of the story and its symbolism. Yes, I love the story for its adventure and talk of never growing up, but it means something much more profound to me.
I find in it wonderment, an encouragement to view the world and all it holds with the beauty, awe, and innocent imagination of children. That it emboldens the reader to see the sparkle and light in the world, to take advantage of each day and each adventure with the naïve courage and boisterousness to equal that of a child. I feel these qualities are particularly important in this day and age when everywhere you turn there are struggle and heartbreak. In a world where everyone is after instant gratification and instant happiness, and even children are made (and expected) to grow up too quickly.
I do not expect everyone to take on this belief or approach to life. I just want to point out that Peter Pan is not just about ‘staying a child’ or ‘never growing up’, that to me it is so much more. If only the imagination were valued as highly nowadays, or that more people took the time to breathe in the warm autumn breeze, take in the scent of a rose garden as it is walked past.
I may have changed over the course of my life, but my resolve in Panism is as strong as it has ever been. To this day I clap my hands, and, most importantly, I believe.