Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a fading, flickering light in the distance. As a fan of fairy tales, I knew who it was right away. Tinker Bell! From the story of Peter Pan! I remembered her light faded the same way during her story, when Captain Hook poisoned Peter Pan’s medicine and Tinker Bell drank it to save Peter’s life. After that, children everywhere clapped their hands to voice their belief in fairies…and Tinker Bell came alive So, why was she fading again? I rushed over and cried, “Excuse me, Tinker Bell. I’m not the paparazzi. I’m a loyal fan. Why are you flickering? What’s wrong?!” She answered in a weak, faint voice:
TINKER BELL: I flew Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road to rekindle my spirit, but it isn’t working. I’m dying.
You can’t die! How did this happen? Did you drink Peter’s poisoned medicine again?
TINKER BELL: No. The situation is quite different this time. You see, after all these years, Peter has stayed young as he was meant to. But I have aged. I’m ever so much more than 110.
But you’re a fairy! Maybe you can live longer! Why is your spirit dying?
TINKER BELL: Because I’m not useful to Peter anymore. Do you remember our story? We appear outside children’s bedroom windows at bedtime and fly them to Neverland.
Of course I remember your story! I was always waiting for you!
TINKER BELL: Well, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I can’t fly in the dark as well anymore.
So? You’re not alone. I can’t drive at night as well as I used to.
TNKER BELL: I appreciate your kind words. But that isn’t the only problem. You see, I always carry fairy dust to help children fly. But these days, I can no longer carry it. The weight of all that fairy dust throws my back out.
I have back issues too. But that’s no reason to give up on everything in older age. Can’t you try to adjust? That’s what everyone else does.
TINKER BELL: How?
Well, as long as we’re on the subject, I’ll blurt out something that has bothered me about the story of Peter Pan for decades. It might help.
TINKER BELL: Go ahead. I fear I’m almost dead anyway.
Stop saying that! Listen to me! Every time I read the story of Peter Pan, I feel it’s unfair that only children get to fly to Neverland. What about adults, like me, who will always be young at heart? Why can’t we go too?
TINKER BELL: That is an excellent question. I’d like to fly you to Neverland myself, but as I told, you, I don’t see as well at night anymore. I muddle through it with Peter, but I don’t think I can add extra excursions.
You’re missing the point. I can’t see as well at night either, so I’d be happier flying to Neverland during the day! I bet others who are young at heart would say the same thing.
TINKER BELL: Hmmm…perhaps I could manage that. But what about the fairy dust? I can’t carry it.
I’ve got that figured out too. When you decide which bedroom window you’d like to visit, go ahead and order fairy dust from amazon.com a few days in advance. Use their two-day delivery service with free shipping.
TINKER BELL: Hmmm….Tempting thought.
Yes! And that way, the fairy dust will be waiting for you on any bedroom windowsill as soon as you arrive there.
TINKER BELL: You know, I think this could work.
TINKER BELL: But there’s one other thing I’ll need before I begin taking others on daytime trips to Neverland.
TINKER BELL: Heartfelt support to keep me alive.
What do you mean?
TINKER BELL: I’ll explain. As you recall, in my story, when I drank Peter’s poisoned medicine and almost died, Peter asked children everywhere to clap their hands to prove they believed in fairies.
I remember I clapped so loudly, my hands almost fell off.
TINKER BELL: That was you? Oh thank you. Anyway, now I must ask all those who will always be young at heart to clap for me again, and chant: “I believe in older fairies. I believe in older fairies.”
I’m in. And…everyone reading this post who feels the way I do, please, please clap your hands and chant along with me: “I believe in older fairies! I believe in older fairies! I believe in older fairies! I believe in older fairies!!!!!”
I’d like to extend a huge, heartfelt thank you to all those who clapped and chanted. We brought Tinker Bell back to life. From this day forward, please listen for a light tapping on your bedroom window. Yes, it might be a woodpecker. But you never know. It might also be Tinker Bell, waiting to fly you to Neverland.