Welcome home to me!
I have been on a long hiatus from blogging, on a tour of the North American Rocky Mountains. Two weeks in Alaska and one week in Colorado have me on a mountain high.
One of my favorite things about the mountains is their fairy-tale quality.
I love seeing the clouds hovering below the peaks, making them appear like real-life castles in the clouds.
I love seeing the steam rise from a hidden river through a forest, visible only from the tree trops.
I love seeing the little hidey-holes made by animals and birds, the magnificent bald eagle nests, and the wide open pastures.
All of these things offer such scope for imagination!
A side note on imagination: This year, I have been on a quest toward joy in my life. I have been searching for tools, tricks, prayers, and anything else that might help me get there. One of the most poignant things I realized missing in my daily experience was imagination!
The imagination of a three year old child, who sees the world as limitless.
The imagination of a creator, who anticipates potential around every curve in the path.
The imagination of a girl who opens her mind to the whimsical possibilities this world has to offer.
In the mountains, I let my imagination run wild.
I saw sheer rock faces and pictured Gulliver’s Travels-esque little men scaling them with dental floss ropes and toothpick hammers.
Seeing a little pika (see here) scurry into its hole, I followed him with my mind’s eye down little tunnels and into the earth, greeting friends and ending up in a small cozy nest.
As a raven flew silently overhead, I imagined how the world would appear from her eyes.
Being home in suburbia feels surreal at times. Everything is so familiar, I seem to have lost my ability to imagine the beauty back into everything. I now understand how my imagination faded away slowly– just as the summer days pass by.
The other day, I happened upon a solution:
You may not have such an obsession with children’s literature as I do, but I know you remember reading as a child. I know you devoured those pictures, the tall tales, and the characters. I am willing to bet that if you thought for a moment, you could bring your all-time favorite picture book to mind and see its illustrations fresh before your eyes.
I got one of the many boxes of books down from my top closet shelf and began sorting through the stories. I selected my favorites.
Every night since, I have sat in bed and read a bedtime story.
I look at all the pictures, I smile at the sweet stories, and I take the time to really IMAGINE the “mysterious treasure chest,” the “moon floating in the heavens,” and the “goodnight kiss.”
I challenge you to pull that old dusty favorite off the shelf tonight and do the same. Or, hit up your local library. Sometimes I really enjoy browsing through the children’s section just to admire the gorgeous artwork of illustrations.
Do whatever it takes to bring a little bit of imagination back into your life.
Sometimes it’s the big things, like mountains, that get us in touch with our littlest selves.
“Everything you can imagine is real.” -Pablo Picasso