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Wednesday 12 October 2022

Guest Post: Shae Millward on The Inspiration Behind The Story of The Rabbit's Magician

The Law of Conservation of Energy – a fundamental law of nature – states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another.

I had long known of this scientific principle but had more recently come across a transcript of a speech about why you want a physicist to speak at your funeral. It was incredibly moving, the way the science-talk, which is often cold and clinical, radiated with warmth – a heart-warming warmth.


'You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died.' *


It goes on to mention particles and photons and uplifting notions the comfort of which is so profound, perhaps, because they aren’t mere notions at all. This is something you can lean into, the science is solid.

'Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy is still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone. You're just less orderly.' *


I saved a copy and filed it away with selected inspirational quotes, lovely verse and pieces of touching text – a nice little personal collection to draw on when needed – and thought no more of it.


Later in the year, I put it out there into the universe that I was ready for a new story idea. No grand ritual, just a thought within my own mind, an acknowledgement that I had finished up a bunch projects and was now excited to welcome a new idea.


I never intentionally set out to write
a story about loss – it was certainly not a subject I would have chosen to tackle. But an impression must have been made on my subconscious by those words I’d filed away, because a scene appeared in my mind of a rabbit looking up at the moon. I sensed he was waiting for something. The moon phases changed, and still, he waited. What are you waiting for? I wondered. And then, he told his tale. In a matter of moments, the whole story of The Rabbit’s Magician suddenly existed, like a neatly wrapped gift. No tackling involved.

Although there was still some hesitancy on my part in regards to the potentially sensitive subject matter, sometimes you just have to get over yourself (and any pesky doubts about what you ‘should’ be writing). Sometimes it’s all about the story, not all about you. Because of the blessed way in which the story came into being – the way it presented itself – I felt it had come as not only a gift for me but for anyone who might need it.


There are other picture books about loss, but none from this angle that I know of. There’s no intention to oppose anyone’s beliefs. It’s simply another tool to help bring some solace to hearts. It offers a sense of comfort from the viewpoint and solidity of a sound principle of physics. It fosters a gentle shift in thought, from the total emptiness of loss to the presence of a continued energetic connection.


We know that everything in the universe is made of energy, including us, and so, that which can no longer be touched by the hand can still be felt by the heart.


The Rabbit’s Magician
is a gentle story of love and loss. This picture book offers comfort to anyone of any age who has lost a loved one – person or animal.
It’s layered meaning and intertwining themes including the universe, nature, the moon and its phases, reminders of loved ones, and the power of love enables it to be interpreted in your own special way.

'What is lovely never dies, but passes into other loveliness star-dust or sea-foam, flower or winged air.' Quote by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

*Transcript of a speech given by Aaron Freeman on NPR News “All Things Considered.” 

Shae Millward is the author of picture books
A Boy and a Dog, Koalas Like To and The Rabbit’s Magician. Her short story, The Vampire Roses, is published in Spooktacular Stories: Thrilling Tales for Brave Kids.

Shae is an enthusiastic advocate for literacy. She aims to inspire through a love of books, the joy of reading and writing, and the art of storytelling. Shae enjoys writing picture books, poetry, song lyrics, inspirational quotes, short stories and more.

Discover more at: shaemillward.com  or connect with Shae via her socials: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter