On Dragons in the Meadow and Other Feats of the Imagination

dirt road walk

Celia and I went for a walk the other night. It is the same walk we usually take, one I have written about before. We walk through the business at the end of our street, past a pond, skirt a development, and end up on the bike path by the river. Every foot of it is familiar. We know all the paths down to the river, all the flowers that bloom at different times of the year, and Celia knows most of the dogs that are walked on the path.

It is all so very familiar but, to Celia, it is all still an adventure. The rustle in the bushes could be a villain with a gun ready to jump out and scare us. After all, scary is thrilling if you know you are safe. The dirt path by the river is really the path made by a pride of lions in the wilds of Africa. She quietly stalks them only to be distracted by the sound of a squirrel in the trees, or is it a monkey? We head up to the open field at the end of the trail and she scolds me for walking too noisily. We must be quiet because we are creeping up to check on the hunters who have gone before us and not returned. Probably they have been captured by the dragon that has been spotted in the area. It is our mission to rescue them and tame the dragon.

Imagination is a wonderful thing and I am thrilled that at twelve years old Celia still revels in it. She told me that her head is always full of stories but when she tries to write them down they tend to vanish. Maybe one day she will work at writing them but right now I am glad she has a world inside her head that keeps her company and she hasn't yet reached an age where she feels like she needs or wants to pretend that world doesn't exist. The world of imagination adds color and interest and texture to the work-a-day world we inhabit. It provides a place to escape to when we are stressed or lonely. It helps us deal with anxieties or fears. Maybe, in a way, we are turning those anxieties and fears into dragons we can tame.

Isn't that why many of us love to read? We love stories and the escape and entertainment they provide. For many of us, that love of stories continues in our imaginations as it does for Celia. We may not even consciously realize it is happening but there is a running commentary of what could happen, what might happen, what we wish would happen. Sometimes that commentary is muted, sometimes it vanishes for a while, but sometimes it returns.

Sometimes it returns because you are in the company of someone who still sees dragons in the meadow and isn't afraid to admit it.


5 comments

  1. This is beautiful. I hope Celia does indeed keep up such a creative and active imagination. She is also lucky to have such strong support for her mind wanderings :)

    I love to read, for the pictures the words create in my head. I am still affected when I put down the book in answer to the mundane world. Sometimes I continue the story while vacuuming making up, as you say, what happens next and how.

    Thanks for a nice Friday morning read!

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    1. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it. An imagination is so important, isn't it? Sometimes we need a refuge from the mundane world.

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  2. LOVE IT! I love that you and your daughter have such a good relationship she feels safe, at the perilous age of 12, telling you all the things she imagines. So cool.

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    1. Thanks! I hope Celia continues to live in a world of imagination and tell me about it but who knows what the teenage years will hold.

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  3. No one can write like this who does not herself glimpse dragons.

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