T.O.T.Week: blurring fantasy/reality

I was hellaciously bad at softball. Hand-eye coordination has never really been my strength, but at least I can hold my own in some other athletic endeavors. (For my brothers scoffing at this – remember that I’m the only one in the family who has run a half marathon). Back to softball – that was the worst. I had zero idea what I was doing, I felt it was egregiously out of line to put us in those starchy uniforms in the spring heat, AND – in their well-intentioned idea to let us kids pitch – the innings took hours. My poor father / Little League coach. I was always in the outfield, and he was always calling, “STACY… what are you doing out there?”

My mind wandered. I could be a real daydreamer when I wanted to be, and with that gift of time… I would stand on my tippy toes, placing my foot firmly down in a spot to see how far I could twirl and move grass without actually detaching it from the ground. I sought out those flowers (dandelions? daffodils?) that you blow on and aim to empty out in one try. Don’t even get me started on the woodlands that lay beyond the field. Its dense green and shadowy entrance was, quite honestly, seductive. I’ve since returned to that field… and am appalled to share that they’ve FENCED OFF the woodland area. What happened to my field of dreams? Something about ‘taking precautions.’ Against what? Imagination? Adventure? Those fun annihilators!

These stories blur the lines between fantasy and reality in both thrilling and heartbreaking ways. Often, the characters are seeking out respite from their daily lives, but sometimes the magic builds within them at a time most needed. I would also venture a guess that their woodland areas remain intact, but I don’t want to spoil any endings for you.

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman (picture book)

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (middle grade novel)

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (YA book)

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (adult novel)

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