Tuesday, July 8, 2008


O! 'ware lest we forget that splendid realm
so often in the tender years was seen
yet to me now seems almost lost behind
a long grey veil of practicality

This morning I heard my children pushing cars along the wooden floor and it brought back to my mind in vivid detail the pleasure I found as a child in pushing a toy car along the floor. Yesterday I had wondered, with my jaded adult mindset why a simple toy car would be so much fun. There was no landscape, no character inside the car.

Today, however, all that is changed as I suddenly recalled the magic of imagination that I used to have as a small child. A simple toy car became the central object in a complex drama with vast landscapes, plans and story lines. Sometimes the fewer toys a child has, the more the imagination takes over and creates for itself the missing details in colorful relief, painting a picture of such completeness that nothing more in the physical realm is needed. I had almost forgotten this place of fairyland existed until today it was brought back to me by the sound of tiny wheels on a wooden floor, of little knees crawling after it, and the throaty chuckle of my child.

Naively I used to promise myself never to lose the way to fairyland, never to forget to use my imagination. Alas, that bright land now belongs to my children, but there is still something I do possess, the "inward eye that is the bliss of solitude". Those beautiful flashes of memory take me back to a time when I was the one walking the footpaths of my own imagination.

1 comment:

  1. Ethan loves and begs for me to play cars with him. But after 40 seconds or so, I get bored. So, I have had to start to use my imagination (which, honestly, I don't have much of). So far, his little Jeep has taken a load of tourists to the Australian Outback (this way I get to practice my Australian accent, which sometimes slips into a British accent). We've seen all sorts of animals and have had all sorts of adventures in the Outback. I really like doing the accent. It keeps my brain engaged. Now I need to think of another accent I can fake and then we'll take the cars there.