There she was under the apple tree which was heavy with blossoms of pink and white. She wore a little blue sweater, a madras plaid skirt, and red wellies, like a schoolgirl on a cloudy day hoping for a puddle. Her hair was in pigtails and she was no more than six, still in that place where a city light pole can be the mast of a pirate ship and a park bench the bed of an enchanted maiden. She was dancing under the apple tree when I saw her and then I realized in her world it was snowing. She would gently reach up into the fluffy tree, take hold of a branch and let it go. Down would come hundreds of white petals as she twirled among the tiny flakes. She was living in a snow globe of her own making. Around her people were enjoying the fresh bounty of the local farmer’s market but she was in a winter wonderland where, with her secret power, she could make it snow.
I heard myself gasp as I watched her. She was so engulfed in her little heaven of wonder that she had no idea it was spilling out onto the sidewalk and into the street where I was standing. The enchantment of the moment made time stand still. It transcended “reality” sweeping her, then me away in it.
Do you ever allow yourself be swept away in the moment? That phrase is often used when we talk about passion, but that is not what I mean exactly. Passion is a great example of a force that pulls us in that we can easily become lost in it. But do you ever allow yourself to be drawn in by your imagination – like the little girl did? Do you ever give yourself permission to dream a little? Our imagination is an inspired gift meant to encourage and fortify us. Sadly, most of us give it up as we grow older which is actually the time we need it most.
Imagination allows us to slip reality long enough to create something magical even if but for a moment. It allows us to dream, to hope, to consider possibilities. Imagination is a vehicle to the future. It opens up our hearts as well as our minds. It gives us wings.
In my adult life I find I have not made enough room for imagination. I have not valued it as I should or recognized its importance. As I grow older I am coming to see that without it life is stagnant and “life”less. Do you value your imagination? Have you been encouraged to shut it down and “grow up”, or have you kept it alive?
One of my favorite quotes about imagination comes from Stephen Covey. He said “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” I bet that if I had spent as much time imagining what could be instead of what has been, my life might look a great deal different. So I am turning over a new leaf. I am going to start imagining what my life can be. I am going to use my imagination to dream up solutions to issues that trouble me. I am going to let my mind have permission to pretend and play more.
Like the little girl under the apple tree, I challenge you to make your world more magical. Find the awe and wonder in the moments. This week I am going to exercise my imagination and see what happens. I’ll find something wonderful in the ordinary. I’m going to make my own snowglobe. Why don’t you join me?”The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Albert Einstein
The power if our imagination is limited only by our lack of willingness to fly.