On the way home last week, the song, “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, filled the car. I had just dropped off my oldest daughter for her voice lesson. I was alone in the car – alone for the first time all day. My mind wandered around the winding streets of our neighborhood, darkness enveloped everything outside.
The night makes me tired, but it also makes my imagination more awake. It’s the time of day that I feel less hindered by restrictions and expectations. I think creative people struggle with finding balance between imagination and reality sometimes. As I drove home, I didn’t just notice the specks of light illuminating homes and yards, casting shadows of family life on the front lawns. I noticed the slender height of the trees, the way they looked like statues lining the streets, mailboxes vaguely resembling crooked witches and cars eerily sleeping like monsters protecting their lairs. For a split second I saw a winged horse gallop across my neighbor’s lawn, disappearing into the woods. And as I drove up to my house, it’s red door brilliant in the swirling night lights, lights pushed around by the winter wind, I wondered what I would do if I found a box of puppies on my doorstep.
Imagination is everywhere. It is what I admire the most about little children. I love how they can imagine an entire day away and never worry that they were supposed to be doing something else. One thing I think I really miss about childhood is the acceptability of imagination. It was not only good to pretend and create, it was encouraged. Now, it is considered daydreaming and procrastination. To imagine something other than what is right in front of you is craziness. Maybe I like crazy.
My youngest daughter would agree with that statement, especially on nights I sing and dance with myself in the kitchen. It reminds me of when I sang and dance in my bedroom as a little girl. I had a red and white Fisher Price record player, and I distinctly remember putting on an entire show to the sound track of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” to an audience of stuffed animals. As we grow up, start our jobs, get married, and raise children there are less opportunities to be child-like. It’s funny how we spend so much of our lives eager to grow up, only to spend the later years thinking about our youth.
“It’s time to begin, isn’t it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit
I’m just the same as I was
Now don’t you understand
That I’m never changing who I am.” – Imagine Dragons, “It’s Time”
*This post was inspired by the word “imagination.”