Tuesday, 29 November 2016

In Which Disneyland Succeeds In Capturing My Shriveled Little Heart And Liberally Sprinkling It With Fairydust And Glitter


It’s been over a week since I left the balmy California for the remarkably less balmy Alberta, but by no means have I stopped thinking about the trip.

I take a while to process things, see. Often, I don’t really truly wrap my mind around something until after it has passed. I absorb, and then stow away until some future moment when my brain stops whirring long enough for me to mentally regurgitate the experience, as it were.

This all sounds slightly unpleasant in writing, but it isn’t, really. It merely means that my experiences don’t end when I finish living them. Which is rather nice, isn’t it?

I spent the majority of the trip in Disneyland, with my sister, my brother-in-law, and my two nieces. Admittedly, I was, at first, mildly apprehensive about how much time we were going to be spending in the parks. In the end, you could have told me that I was going to spend a whole extra month there and I would probably grovel gleefully at your feet, or something to that dramatic extent.

Why on earth would an introverted, crowd-fearing, impatient, easily exhausted, chronically grumpy cynic like Yours Truly have any desire whatsoever to do so?

Alas, I am not impervious to Disneyland magic.

You see, for all of my cynicism, I am an ardent lover of nostalgia, of imagination, of fairytales, and of creativity. I love detail, I love intricacy. I love color and light and sound. Heck, I love food. (Shoutout to Californians for winning at pizza.)

Disneyland is a harbour of all of the things I just named. How could I not have been won over? And yet, the striking thing about all of that—and what, I think, truly made me fall a little in love with the happiest place on earth—is that all of those elements exist in Disneyland because someone cared to make them tangible. Someone put great dedication and love into every detail of the park, therefore leaving a part of themselves in whatever they contributed. There is a reason that everyone is so captivated by the park, and I think it is, in part, because it’s a gift from the dreamers and the creatives and the inventors and the architects who created it to all of their kindred spirits; the Romantics of the world, those who were and are and are to come.

I did a lot of meandering. I did a lot of looking, allowing myself just to breathe and soak it in like a magic-absorbing sponge. I allowed myself to embrace the enchantment of it all. (We all need to revive our whimsical side, eventually. It’s a part of us that gets bogged down very easily, naturally, when you consider the kind of lives we live. We need to resurrect it every once in a while, scrub the dust from it, let it be starry once more.)

Cheers, Walt Disney. You’ve created a haven of all that is magical and youthful and imaginative in the world; a net to catch the fairy dust of people’s minds and a place to store it so that perhaps, one day, we might all get a chance to fly. 

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