As children, most of us have vivid imaginations and tap into a source of creativity that excels. Looking back, my imagination was bordering on the insane. The clowns on my bedroom wallpaper used to come to life and scare the living daylights out of me. Kitchen implements used to fly up the stairs to cause me more anguish. On the lighter side, I used to build caves and castles in my bedroom using all sorts of weird and wonderful materials and spend hours having the best fun ever (I think my mother was rather pleased when I grew out of that stage). And didn’t you also, used to have the most amazing conversations with … well …. no-one?
I was staring at a blank page the other day, willing my brain to remember how to access that wonderful free thinking, when my daughter (who is visiting for a week) slammed down the lid of my laptop and decided we should visit her grandparents. I’d obviously been non-productive for too long.
Her grandparents were thrilled to see their granddaughter, after a year since her last visit, and made the fuss grandparents do. The afternoon was perfect – the sun shone, we drank cool drinks and ate delicious homemade cake in the beautiful landscaped garden – until Alice went missing.
“Where’s Alice?” said Grandpa.
We all looked around and then my husband gave me one of his knowing nudges and a wink. I smiled. Alice had gone exploring the hidden parts of the garden. So off I went, like I used to when she was ten years old (she’s now twenty three and three quarters) and I followed the secret pathway that took me into the veiled labyrinth of Grandma’s garden. Yet again, the ‘ten year old’ Alice jumped from behind a tree and made me jump out of my skin. In my defense, she is a lot taller than me now!
We had the best time and as soon as I got back home I wrote my new short story within the hour.
Lesson learned: When the going gets tough take a trip to Grandma’s Secret Garden with Alice.
My daughter always inspires me. Who or what helps you to tap into your creative flow?