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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)

TITLE: The Gift of Imagination
By Ashley White


I recognized her as someone I once knew. I could not quite put a name to her face but she smiled when she saw it was me. Her short wavy hair was sticking out on all sides and her shirt was covered in mud to match her shorts, her knees…her face. She was filthy and I was almost turned away by her appearance…But I recognized her. She was strangely familiar. Almost as if she was “me.”
Suddenly she tuned and ran. My curiosity getting the better of my good judgment, I got up from my comfortable position on the grassy hill and followed her, taking my journal with me. I turned the corner she had moments ago disappeared around. And there I paused. She had vanished.
Hearing sudden fits of giggles, I looked up. A tree. A Willow tree so familiar and so foreign all at once. I reached up and pulled myself on the lowest branch where I collapsed in silence. The sun was warm that day, even in the shade. The child sat on the branch above acting extremely mysterious. Like there was more going on in her mind than you could ever imagine. Then again, that was what it was like to be a child again…right? A vivid imagination and a creative spirit, an imagination so vivid that nothing comes between you and what is going on in your mind.
“What’cha doing?” She asked, peering down from her perch on the branch above me. My journal was open in my lap and she was scanning the page curiously.
I was silent.
“What’cha doing?” the girl asked again an innocent expression plastered on her face.
“Well…I guess…I…I really don’t know anymore.” I answered, slightly annoyed by her constant interruption.
“Looks to me like you’re writing something. What are you writing?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Just stuff. Mostly trying to come up with ideas I guess.”
“Oh I see, your imagining.”
I looked at her puzzled. “I guess so” Truth was, that really was what I was doing. Thinking what my next story would be; thinking “or imagining” But I wasn’t about to admit that to a six year old.
“Don’t worry I like doing that too. Although it is more fun to act it out.”
“You know…Play”
It was an idea I had not really thought of for a while. That word echoed through my mind. Play…Play…Play... “Play, huh?”
“Yeah it’s fun!”
I thought about what she said. “It is fun isn’t it?”
The girl nodded her head. It had been too long since any such idea had even entered my mind. Actually, play was something I rarely though about lately. Life was just too busy to have time for childish things such as “play.”
“So do you want to play than?” she pleaded.
I looked up at her. Her glasses had slipped down the bridge of her nose. Despite her disheveled appearance, I did not see her quite as dirty as she was at first. Actually, despite the dirt, she was really quite pretty. I realized I could learn a lot from her. Besides, if I really was going to be a writer I was going to really have to learn the secret to a real imagination. And for that I would have to look at things the way only a child could.
“So do you,” She asked again.
“I…I would love to.” I am not sure what made me say yes but something in me wanted to be a kid again; to be free of responsibility again. Maybe because I was a kid again, except this time I was looking her straight in the eyes. We played the rest of the day. My imagination was made fresh… restored.
Why is it the older you get the less imagination you have? God has given us this wonderful gift. He did not just give it to us as a child and expect us to lose it as soon as “responsibility” came along. He meant us to enjoy it all throughout our life. Maybe we all need to meet the child within us occasionally, take them by the hand, and walk… or play with them…down memory lane.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanne E Webster 08/11/09
Enjoyable reading! It is always good to reconnect with the child within us. Keeps us young!

You were very creative here with this theme. Some editing with the flow, along with minor grammar and spelling checks, will enhance your story.

Keep practicing and writing and writing. You're off to a great start!