How taking a moment to view the world through a child’s eyes is enough to bring back the joy and wonder that imagination brings.
TO ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC OF IMAGINATION
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl
I wonder, are kids who are encouraged to pretend more expressive, empathetic, and socially adept than those who aren’t? I do know, you can definitely get something out of diving into your little one’s fantasy world. Adults tend to dismiss the urge to daydream as impractical or unproductive. But playing make-believe games with our little’s helps keep that sense of magic alive for us as well.
Imagination is a delicate thing. Unicorns must be real. They may not show-up in person, but weeks later this unicorn suddenly appeared in a photo.
Great memories will forever be etched in Sunny’s mind through this particular experience and hopefully the photos will also be a little something she can use to recollect this magical day.
THE UNICORN HUNT
Taken right back to the steam train era on entering the station.
We board the train in Sheringham. A lovely little town in England, right outside the station where we spent most of our visiting days.
The station itself is a little gem and has certainly re-created the atmosphere of a country station from yesteryear.
What a lovely throw back – all very authentic with coal fire cases, station staff in old fashioned uniform, then the steam train itself is very old fashioned and stunning.
With great views of the Norfolk coast and countryside, we traveled from Sheringham to Holt to visit Baconsthorpe castle – where legends say unicorns live.
From the train window the unicorn search begins.
Upon arrival of Baconsthorpe Village the Baconsthorpe Castle appears from the distance.
Grandma Heather says, “Unicorns live in this castle and we must look for them.”
As soon as Sunny and her cousin Millie approach the castle ruins, they dash off into the distance with excitement, in hopes of finding a unicorn.
Their imaginations run wild and free as they frolic through the meadows to find a unicorn. “Unicorns do exist!”
They search and search; with no unicorn in sight. Unfortunately, they do not see any unicorns.
Grandma Heather finds a note for Sunny inside a room in the castle. The same room that is said to be where Rapunzel once lived. Inside the envelope was a handwritten invitation from Scottie, the Unicorn.
My name is Scottie. I was too shy to come out and meet you, but I saw how beautiful you are. I hear you will one day be a unicorn doctor. I know you will be a kind and gentle doctor and all my unicorn friends will love you. I want you to take this card, show the lady at The Dales, Grandma knows where it is. I have left a special surprise for you there. I love you lots. Thank you for coming to my castle.
Love, Scottie the Unicorn
Everyone is beaming with curiosity, no one knew about this letter, except Grandma Heather. As per the unicorn’s request, Grandma Heather drives Sunny to The Dales in Sheringham – located in the eastern region of England. During the car ride, Sunny is full of anticipation and curiosity and wonders what this all must be about. After a short journey in the car traveling through the windy roads of the countryside a stone looking castle appears. Is this ‘The Dales’ Sunny exclaims?
She walks up the stairs of The Dales, a very elegant place to get a surprise from the ethereal unicorn. When sunny showed her card to the lady at reception the lady said ‘you must be Sunny who we are waiting for. We heard a clip clop clip clop but when we went to look no one was there, but we did find this.” And showed Sunny to the library where there was a sign on the door.
The door opens to a good, old-fashioned English tea time with finger sandwiches, dainty china cups and all the formality a little tea lover could wish for. The library was transformed into a spectacular afternoon tea party with an extremely long table for all of Sunny’s guests to join. The table is filled with decadent pastries and an array of scones with clotted cream and jam, cupcakes, macaroons and other tempting nibbles. This is a formal afternoon tea taking place, all orchestrated by the one and only Scottie the Unicorn (via Grandma Heather). Sunny has taken her seat beside Grandma Heather and Great-Grandma Enid. As she sat, she was showered with gifts from the unicorn and her great-grandma; one of those gifts was a very special silver unicorn necklace. This will be a family heirloom that maybe Sunny can pass down to her children and grandchildren one day.
Sunny was overloaded with joy. She was so taken back, she was nearly in shock. When something so surreal like this happens, Sunny goes quiet and absorbs herself deeply whilst taking it all in!
Great-Grandma Enid is such a lovely lady. She is the mother of the marvelous and so very kind – Grandma Heather. As you can gather, Sunny’s British roots come from a family of divine and thoughtful character.
As the tea party goes on, Sunny starts fantasizing about the unicorn and looks out the tall library window and declares, “I need to find the unicorn.” To distract her from her fantasy, cousin Millie takes her outside to the garden, imagine a garden setting – sort of reminiscent of Alice and Wonderland – where they find a life-size chess set on the lawn. Sunny is once again in awe, because chess is her favorite game after all. She happily partakes in the strategy with her cousin in this elaborate game of chess.
Once more, she wanders out into the garden at The Dales alone in her sparkly gown. “I really wish the unicorn wasn’t shy of me. I really want to meet him so badly.” She thinks, “If I were a unicorn, where would I hide?” After walking the entire grounds of The Dales it doesn’t appear Scottie will come close enough to be seen. Dusk is approaching and it was time to go; Sunny must end the unicorn hunt. As we walk back to the family Sunny concludes “Scottie the Unicorn isn’t here because he has gone to save the world.”
The unicorn hunt and tea party left a magical mark in Sunny’s heart forever. It was impressive to watch Sunny’s Grandma create these enchanting memories for her. Sunny is so lucky to come from such a lovely family and experience the magical childhood moments they created for her. As Grandma Enid says, “It sure is something special to see children that still believe.”
The entire week was beyond noteworthy for Sunny and all the family spectators. The experiences will be lasting impressions of her grandma and her roots. Sunny has always had quite the imagination, now we know where it comes from. 🙂
What a special gift to inherit!
Maya Angelou says it best — “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
As a photographer, it’s so rewarding to create visual stories in noteworthy moments of life. There is something magical about capturing the unexpected reactions and illustrating those moments that will be shared and treasured for generations to come.