The Power of Imagination

Those of you who follow my blog, know I am very thankful my youngest is growing up at Elk Lake Resort. However, I'm also very thankful to report there are other children who are using their imagination for something more than Game Boys and video games.

We got an email this week from a friend (who, for you western coast and valley dwellers, lives in western Oregon) recounting the 'adventures' of her husband and boys. This is the friend whose son nearly blew up the house making bomb with his chemistry set. So, when she recounted the latest saga in the life of. . . I just had to chuckle.

Seems the boys and their Dad got the bright idea to float the nearby creek. They donned their wet suits, grabbed the canoe (oh, and the cell phone which they had the foresight to put into a ziploc bag), and headed for the creek.

"Pick us up. . ." (at their planned destination), were their parting words.

Not nearly enough time had passed when the phone rang. Guess what, they hadn't made it.

Really, that didn't come as a surprise. However, I still got a good laugh as my friend described the adventure's end.

Seems the water was rougher than they'd anticipated. There were rapids beyond their ability levels. In the end, the passengers were clinging to trees while their canoe careened downstream before wrapping itself around a partially submerged log.

Fortunately the cell phone had survived, and they were able to call for pickup. After all, as my friend noted, "No one in the right mind would have opened the door to a bunch of guys in wetsuits!"

Does that sound a bit like an excerpt from Tom Sawyer to you? It sure did to me. And, sadly enough, these boys are some of the few who still have an intact imagination.

Granted, I'm not so hep on my son blowing the roof off the house, but, by golly, I sure enjoy watching his imagination at work. Instead of living his life vicariously - through TV or a Game Boy - he fights imaginary (but real to him) battles with pirates and rogues. Flinging his sword (a 3 foot piece of PVC pipe he has claimed as his own) with gusto, he destroys all the dragons and villains who cross his path!

I'm so glad there are still a few around who share his passion for 'real' adventures. As I mentioned in previous posts, nature deficit syndrome is robbing our children of their childhood. Even more, I wonder sometimes if it isn't robbing them of their humanity.

After all, how many of us know (or have met) teenagers who cannot carry one an intelligent conversation, believe work is for those who aren't smart enough to. . .? (I'm not sure what they think the 'smart' ones do to make a living), and getting dirty is reserved for those without the brains to stay clean.

What a sad commentary on life. Sometimes it seems hopeless. I wonder what the future will look like as these 'children' become the movers and shakers in our world. Will they? Will they move? Shake? Care?

Then along comes stories like my friend told. Or the one my hubby pointed out in World Magazine today.

It seems a young man in West Linn (again in the western valley) got a hankering for some snow. I can't say I blame him. I like to play in the stuff, myself. Anyway, nature wasn't providing the desired 'want', so he went after it himself.

Apparently he begged the use of a power washer and a compressor. Viola! Overnight he produced over three feet of snow in his back yard.

I wonder how many of the neighborhood kids found their way into his back yard the following day? Hopefully many. That means they, too, were enjoying the great outdoors!

Most amazing, however, was the boy's age. With an imagination that developed and the knowlege to make his dream a reality, I expected the young man to be at least in his teens. Wrong! Our imaginative inventor was all of 10 years old! Keep up the good work, young man! You may find yourself president someday.

Lady of the Lake

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