Save fiction for another day, the truth is, Neverland is a real place and I know it exists because I lived there. I spent ten years of my life frolicking on its golden shores and galavanting through its misty mountains with all the lost boys, and lost girls. There were pirates with missing teeth, magical fairies eating magical mushrooms and never-ending tree-lines and beaches, guarded by some of the most majestic animals imaginable. In Neverland time slows down and so do inhibitions, everyone stays youthful and the fun and games never stop. Call me Peter Pan, or just another kid that didn’t want to grow up, but I loved it there, it was just like all the stories say, but better. So trust me when I tell you that Neverland is real, it’s actually the realest places I’ve ever been, which made it that much harder when I eventually had to leave.
As the story goes, I floated in on a coastal wind dreaming youthfully of a place where I could run wild and free. I was looking for a place where I could learn the art of flight and hone the skills needed to sore high into the sky. The idea was to lose myself in order to find myself again. Lucky for me I think I actually accomplished that somewhere along the way.
I spent my 20’s running wild beneath a diamond sky with one hand waving free, falling in love with a place that begged little in return. It gave me all that I asked of it and more, and every time I needed something new, it gave me that too. Because in Neverland, anything is possible, all you have to do is dream. I dreamed so many things, over the years. I dreamed of watching humpback whales soar gracefully through the air, magical hot springs that massage every bone in your body with there warm hands, and giant trees that guarded many paths through ancient rain forests. I dreamed of being a rockstar drummer, bar tending for town royalty and starting my own business where I could create art all day
My relationship with Neverland was always special. We wrote secrets in the singing sands together and shared life affirming truths that I will carry with me forever. But like any great relationship, there were ups and downs, things got tuff in paradise and when it rains it pours. Finding shelter in the storm was the true test of valour. If you could persevere through that, you stood a fighting chance in the land of pirates. And if you came out in one piece on the other side, Neverland would reward you with treasures of the mind, body and soul. For me, the best rewards came in friendships and memories, during days that seemed to last a lifetime. Once you get past all the glamour and natural beauty, you see the true diamond in the rough, the people that call it home. Those who fight to live their dream everyday, and regardless of the results, still come back the next morning. They’re an elite group of lost boys and girls making a home out of dreams shaped for the edge of world. And while I was in Neverland, I was one of them…Part of the lost tribe, and it felt special. But like all great stories my true tale ended many years ago.
I had to make a choice and point myself in a new direction, to catch the wind while it was still at my back. Believe me when I say that it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Leaving Neverland was never part of the plan, but somewhere along the way, I heard a voice saying there was something more I needed to see and do. So I took a chance and move away from the most magical place on earth, hoping to find more. But looking back some days, (most days) I sit and wonder why I ever left at all. Neverland gave me everything, and I would’t be who I am today without it. I still go back every year for as long as I can. I stay until I’ve captured the dream again to keep it fresh in my mind, so to never forget that magic IS real. Although this Peter Pan had to grow up and out, I know that one day Neverland will come calling for me again. And a western wind with a cool magic in the air will lift me up and take me back home, where I belong.