Cultivate Imagination

  A cool, crisp day - Autumn is coming.  I can feel it in the breeze, see it in the changing colors of the leaves, and smell it on the air.  I follow her to the muddy place... a series of dug holes with dirt piled up on either side.  Buckets of water are aptly placed beside each hole, with twigs, leaves and plenty of imagination there is no end to the fun that can be had.

 Soup is made by one creative chef.  Leaves become spices, twigs transform into vegetables and a large stick is the perfect ladle.  "Come and try my soup Mom, it's nice and warm." he calls out with with an excited trill in his voice as his brilliant blue eyes sparkle.
"My soup too Mommy... yum."  Well, how could I resist.

My oldest son came to me yesterday saying "It makes me sad to think that one day I will no longer want to play pretend.  How do you play as an adult Mom?  I mean, you and Dad don't play outside like we (meaning himself and his siblings) do.  Do you imagine anymore?"  I explained to him that as we grow, things change.  We no longer pretend to be superheroes or princesses, we do not always remember to see the leaves as anything other than leaves or mud as anything other than mud.  It is sad really when I think about it.  When does our creativity start to die and our imaginations dull?

I told my son that I still imagine... I dream about land and living off of it.  I dream of beautiful gardens filled with vibrant colors that beckon those who pass by to come and sit a spell.  I dream of heaven and the wonder of our God.  And yet, how much more can a child's vivid imagination think upon these things.  Perhaps that is why God asks us to come to Him like a little child, coming freely without judgement, without burdens that the years have placed upon us, coming to him with eyes filled with wonder and hearts leaping with excitement and anticipation rather than souls weary from running this race.

Even as I type this, the boys are playing in their room with a medieval castle and my two year old little Princess is walking about with a pocket book slung over her shoulder and a book in her hand.  I want to preserve these years, these days of wonder and exploration.  Days filled with the joy of dressing up as a princess and having tea because all too soon these sweet children of mine will start to grow up and they will be on the cusp of teenhood wondering when they are "too old" for such whimsy.
Photo from Pixabay

How sad to think we need to place a cut off age on the imagination.  I am hoping to instill a love of creativity in my children.  Perhaps in a year or so Ethan will no longer want to play pretend although he may humor his siblings and continue to do so.  However, I hope he will never stop dreaming or enjoying the beauty this world has to offer through great literary works, music, art, and God's masterpiece of creation.

Give your children plenty of time to explore and to be children... for these years are too fleeting to spend hours on busy bookwork or so many planned activities that the mind has no time to imagine and create.

Enjoying the journey,