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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but rather in seeing with new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust

Yesterday I went on an adventure. Two, actually: One involved a castle and a princess; the other a hunter and a bear.

I was visiting my grandchildren in Baltimore, Maryland, babysitting while his parents took a night away for themselves.

Maddie is only seven months old, but Peyton will be three in June, and he and I are good buddies. Each time I visit I get a lot of exercise.

Over the weekend we created two castles, a forest, a river and animals. All in the kitchen and adjoining family room.

A footstool became a bridge, a bathrobe tie became the fishing line, and then the horse harness, and finally Rapunzel’s hair.

I became a prince who climbed her hair (Peyton is big on the Tangled movie right now).

We swam across raging water. We hiked up a mountain. Peyton caught fish for dinner.

He came running back to the castle to tell me he’d seen a mommy bear leaving a cave with her baby bears!

The creativity and curiosity and imagination on display—and in constant motion—is remarkable at that age.

Before the world and its expectations whittle away at the freedom of expression and determine right ways of being, doing, and seeing, we were all once full of the magic of imagining.

Peyton can “see” a river in the middle of the kitchen; he can create a bear and a fish out of air or transform into a princess with long golden hair.

Adults? Not so much. We struggle with practicalities; from about the age of three—once society and school and conformity kick in—we unlearn how to imagine new realities.

I admit to feeling a bit tired after spending a few days with my favourite little person, and certainly much of it is physical; I am unused to all the bending, lifting, and twisting required.

But I suspect it’s more a result of the workout my imagination gets when I practice seeing like an almost three-year-old whose eyes see so much more than most adults.

Because he sees things we’ve forgotten even existed. Things like magic.

Next time you feel a little stuck or stymied, maybe think more like a three year-old.

You just might find a new solution.

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” ~Bill Moyers

 

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