Believing in the fairytale is not always easy. It requires patience, courage, faith--and a bit of whimsy. Some might say that a fantasy is just that—something that is not real, so why put too much stock in it, yet, if we do not believe in our dreams how will we ever make them come true?
On a recent trip to Wales, I had the opportunity to visit my first fairytale castle. Like a little girl, I was bubbling with anticipation to experience the fantasy of it all. Although castles were originally built to help prevent the reality of war and death, there is still something magical about they way they stand so proudly, protecting the humanity that lies within.
Castle Coch; the Red Castle, however, was built as pure folly. The Marquis of Bute, had not only the means, but also the inclination to make his fairytale a reality. Built high on a hill, the miniature version of a great castle served as a place to get away from it all. A place to take family and friends for a long weekend. A place where he could from time to time, escape reality and live his dream. Complete with cold stone hallways, twisted slippery stairways, slits to watch for the enemy, a working drawbridge and a very special dungeon room;-) it was designed true to form. Inside however, the castle is decorated with luxurious silks, carpets and furniture from the Victorian era. The best of both worlds, he blended his reality and fantasy ignoring the possible ridicule from the world around him.
Many writers of romance grew up reading about knights in shining armour sweeping them away to better world, a world where love would protect them from the conflicts of reality. It is easy to see why this was a common theme, if we had lived in the time of Knights and castle invasions, I am not sure we would have found it very romantic though. The reality was that many knights were away for long periods of time. Their lover’s waited, hoping, often in vain, their hero would return for just one more kiss.
Like the Marquis, I live the dream, but keep the conflict close as a reminder. Reality will creep in making it difficult to believe at times, but it reminds us to appreciate the incredible joy and bliss that is woven through the clouds of doubt and fear. A reminder that sometimes, the real fairytale is not about everything being the way you dreamed it would be, but about realizing that it is as it should be and that is, by far better. Our dreams are a catalyst that move us forward and often our journey takes us to places we had never imagined, but as long as we believe, the road will always lead us to where we need to be.