Wednesday, January 9, 2008
When is the last time you’ve been Enchanted?
I recently took a Disney Cruise over the holidays. I say this picture is reflective of as close to Chip and Dale’s as I’ll ever get! But there was something on that trip that caught my attention in a profound way.
As you might assume, a Disney Cruise comes fully equipped with Mickey, Minnie and children out the....wazoo. One evening during one of the Theatre shows called “Disney Dreams” I looked down my row and saw all of the children sitting on the edge of their seats, eyes wide with sheer amazement and not a one of them checking out the time. They were simply enchanted, captured, mesmerized.
I took another gander after that one and caught site of the adults. There were yawns, a few had crossed on over into dreams of their own while others checked out watches, patted their feet in impatience but very few had taken to the edge of the seat poise. And it was then that I realized, it takes so much to capture you and I these days.
Long gone are the days when a simple things captured out attention. It seems now in this state of desensitization, that the screen has to be bigger, the coke super-sized, the action more graphic, the novel more intriguing. Gone are the days when simply going to the movie was a treat, or escaping with a novel that could take us to another place, another time, even with two ordinary people was enough.
Now, before you say that the bar needs to be raised, I’m all for providing works of excellence in whatever field we’re in, I just think something is lost from the edge of the seat experience to the nap in the middle of the play. And I think the only way for you and I to realize that we can still be enchanted at whatever age or stage we are, is to stop long enough to allow life to enchant us.
I recently noticed the changing of the leaves. I had banned it from my activity because I always believed it was something old people do. They get in their cars, drive to the mountains to check out the changing color of the leaves. Every senior citizen group I’ve ever known has always made this their fall get-away. I preferred snow skiing so I boycotted all observing of fall foliage. Until this year. Because it refused to be missed. It demanded me to be enchanted. It demanded me to be amazed that trees that come in as green go out with the brilliance of a crayola box. And I simply allowed them to enchant me. I allowed them to have the honor of my amazement at their undeniable beauty.
So maybe being enchanted isn’t the lack of objects to enchant us. Maybe the lack of enchantment in our lives is because we have taken to a world that so demands of us, that we rarely stop all demands.
I challenge you this year, let life enchant you. Let the laughter of children crack you up. Let a good old fashion snow angel make you smile. Let a cup of hot chocolate be savored until the very last big glump of chocolate that rests on the bottom gets to go down. Let the amazing beauty of the creation that surrounds us and the beauty of life that dwells in us enchant us. And let’s give kids a run for their money. It might be the best gift we give ourselves in a very long time.
Denise Hildreth lives in the hills of Tennessee where everyday outside her office window she gets to be enchanted by them. It is there she has written five novels, her most recent being The Will of Wisteria.