Tidying up the mind.

Illustration by Ilustrista

“Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children’s minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day.

If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight.

When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.”

~J.M. Barrie, Peter and Wendy (1911)

What a wonderful idea. And don’t you wish it were true? That we could throw out all the sad and scary thoughts collected by our children (and ourselves) during the day, and lay out nicer thoughts at bedtime? I think I’ll give it a try tonight….sweet dreams everyone!


  1. Yes, it is a wonderful image and idea, and I vow to read the book after seeing so many reproductions of the story on stage and in movies! thanks for the inspiration. Yet, again, this blog is such a breath of fresh air and a refreshing drink of water!

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