Last weekend the weather was delightfully warm here in Greenville. The sun was shining, the birds were singing - it felt like spring. On one of several strolls with my dog, I came across three little boys playing with a box in their front yard. As I watched them play, it was obvious the box was not just a box. It was a fort, a playhouse, a tank, an infinite number of possibilities limited only by their imaginations. My Saturday stroll was a good reminder of how differently we think as children. When kids look at a box, they don't just see a box - they see possibilities. They see a box not as it is - but for everything it could be. Childhood is an infinite summer (even when it's just a winter reprieve in late January.) As time marches on, we begin thinking more concretely. We see a box where we see a box. Our days cease to be defined by quickly melting popsicles and tire swings, bellyflops and neighborhood games of "Kick-the-Can." We begin to mark our days and months with rituals of responsibility - bills paid, inboxes cleaned out, items marked off our TO DO list. Slowly, in a little boat for one, we allow the splishing and splashing of the tide to draw us out into the sea of adulthood, drifting further and further away from fun, imagination and possibility.
For the creative adult, we spend most of our lives trying to find a way to return to the eternal summer of childhood. A place where the mind and imagination work in harmony - one challenging the other to be better, do more and dream bigger. A time when mistakes were nothing to be feared, just a spark for improvisation. A moment when night writing with wildly twinkling sparklers made all of us feel like the poet laureate of our front yard.
Hemingway once said, "The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing." I am inclined to agree.
Today I'm encouraging all of us to think differently. Tap into our imaginations. Change up the drive home. Stand on our heads. Challenge yourself to see something you've seen a thousand times before in a new light. Try to describe the taste of Â a strawberry. Pick up a piece of sidewalk chalk and write a love letter to someone in your life. Practice seeing possibility instead of accepting reality. Find your inner child and give him/her a spin on the tire swing.
It's Wednesday, after all.
ps: I stumbled across this video over the weekend. A look at well-known logos through the eyes of a 5-year-old. If you haven't seen it - take a peek. And enjoy.