Where does it come from? Why does it seem so lacking today? Is there anything we can do to trigger it? Does it really matter?
Today we enjoy many benefits our forefathers and mothers couldn't even dream about. However, we seem to be loosing an important element at an alarming rate - imagination. Rarely today do children make their own games with whatever is on hand. Sticks. Water puddles. Empty Cardboard Boxes. Tin cans and rocks. I'm convinced a large portion of the blame can be laid at nature's door. Or, rather our lack of contact with nature.
Today we (adults and children alike) are used to being entertained. We wile away hours in front of the TV or the computer screen. More time with other electronic medium. Our children often spend even more time glued to a screen!
Take the 'typical' child of today. Although blessed with the benefits of electronic mediums (and I do believe they have made our lives easier), we're seeing an alarming rise in childhood 'issues' such as ADHD. Interestingly enough, there are studies which suggest ADHD could better be termed 'Nature Deficit Syndrome'.
Like sugar, too much of a good thing can be dangerous to our health. Instead of mixing our electronics with healthy doses of the 'real world', we are leaning heavily on the 'virtual' to shape our reality. It shouldn't be that way!
Take my 5 year old. Although his speech is a bit delayed, his imagination is going full-force. Not to suggest he doesn't enjoy watching a movie, but he knows how to play.
Growing up at Elk Lake, he's enjoyed a daily dose of pure nature. In fact, he's a much happier little boy if he's spent an hour or two outdoors, regardless of the weather.
He's active, but with time outdoors, he has an outlet for his natural curiosity and abundant energy. In fact, as he matures, I can see his imagination stretching and deepening. Take today.
Was he a karate kid with duck feet? Big foot battling forest invaders? Or an ocena diver spearing sharks? To the casual eye he was just a little boy with flippers and a stick. In his mind he was much much more!
I encourage you to take a look at where you spend your leisure time. Are you challenging your mind? Are you enjoying time in nature? Are you using 'your' imagination? Just as important, what are you doing to ensure your children or grandchildren or nieces and nephews aren't loosing the ability to see with their mind's eye - to create a world of fancy - to expand their horizons?
Lady of the Lake