The other day I found myself looking for the perfect location for a fairy door. My five year old insisted that the small pottery door, which she had beautifully painted, should be carefully placed against a wall so that the fairies could get through. How else would the tooth fairy arrive to replace her tooth (which hasn’t fallen out yet) with a coin?
Children are marvellous aren’t they? Seeing the world through their eyes is great, so what happens to our imagination when we grow up?
Each time I practice playing the piano, I am reminded of my age by my helpful tutorial book entitled, ‘It’s never too late to play piano.’
Maybe now I’m in my forties, I have to accept that growing up is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean life always has to be serious. Most of us are governed by alarm clocks, calendars and our responsibilities. As we get older, we have to deal with tricky things like bank loans, bills, relationships and the loss of people we love, but please don’t tell me that I need to grow up entirely and let go of my imagination.
The lyrics of the Enigma song, ‘Return to Innocence’, from 1993 tell us to, ‘Look into your heart my friend; that will be the return to yourself, the return to innocence.’ I think that is sound advice.
We are all in awe of famous actors who do an excellent job pretending to be other people and we also think it’s cute when children turn cardboard boxes into spaceships, so what is wrong with keeping a playful attitude to life?
A friend of mine once reminded me that life isn’t a fairy tale, which is true to some extent, but do we always have to ‘act our age.’
I have always loved Jenny Joseph’s poem ‘Warning’ which begins; ‘When I am an old woman I shall wear purple,’ and warns her readers how she wants to grow old disgracefully, by spending her pension on brandy and learning to spit.
Writing is my way of keeping my imagination active and this week I have spent my time in Iceland, battling to get through a cave that had been partly destroyed by a rock fall. Next week, I am looking forward to trying out some difficult mid-air manoeuvres in a helicopter. This may only be among the pages of chapters two and three of my book, but it is still fun.
I choose to stay in make believe a little longer and continue turning toilet rolls into telescopes with my five year old.