In 1908, Maurice Maeterlinck published the play, “The Blue Bird: A Fairy Play in Six Acts.” The story is about a young boy Tyltyl and his sister Mytyl who receive a quest from the Fairy Berylune to find the blue bird of happiness for a sick child. To help them in their search, the Fairy Berylune gives Tyltyl a magical hat with a diamond attached, which when turned, opens the children’s eyes to the true nature of the world around them.
While on their quest, the children pass through challenges and experiences that develop their courage and character. Gradually and without realizing it, they become more kind, generous, and good-natured. At the end of their adventures, we see Tyltyl forget about his material wishes and wants as he willingly gives up perhaps his most treasured possession for the benefit of someone who needs it more than he. Tyltyl sees his parents and their old cottage, things he had overlooked and perhaps lamented, through a new lens of beauty and true appreciation. He no longer has need for the hat’s magic as the simple pleasures of water, forests, family, and neighbors become alive to his mind and heart.
It is a striking story as we consider what brought about this great change in Tyltyl. In seeking the blue bird of happiness for someone else, Tyltyl himself finds happiness. He learns life’s grand lesson—that we find more of true happiness by trying to give it to others. How important (and difficult!) this lesson is, and certainly one learned only by experience, gained by our own testing and continual efforts.
Today’s post and image are contributed by Seeing the Everyday magazine. For more information, go to seeingtheeveryday.com.