When I was younger I read the book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” from cover to cover.
Do you remember that book?
I think my parents rolled their eyes when I read the poem about Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who would not take the garbage out.
But I didn’t care.
Shel Silverstein was my hero.
He was funny and irreverent and made eating a whale and collecting junk and a crocodile toothache into poems that danced off the pages of a book.
I found his book the other day and picked it up…..
.…..and read the poems of my childhood.
And there I found these words:
Once I spoke the language of the flowers
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings
And shared a conversation with a house fly in my bed
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets……
Once I spoke the language of the flowers…..
How did it go?
How did it go?
Wonderful, incredible imagination.
I can remember transforming a fort into a castle and becoming a princess and making a fence from sticks for the garden and digging a moat in the dirt and dining on saltine crackers and Fresca…..
….and ruling a kingdom.
Back when I spoke the language of the flowers.
And that’s exactly what I want for my children.
That is my hope for them.
But this is the information age with all the clamor and clutter and noise.
The days are full of ipads and iphones and clouds and video games….
….that sometimes leave imagination in the dust.
And I want them to experience the joy of a sunny afternoon spent under the leafy branches of a tree.
The joy of watching clouds roll by overhead in a crystal blue sky.
The wonder of an anthill and sound of a cricket choir…..
…..echoing across a rolling meadow.
So I created a place for dreaming and planning and hoping and creating.
I spray painted a tree house in vivid colors and patterns with steps that lead up to a clubhouse where you need a secret password to enter.
And added outdoor pillows and stumps for tables underneath the branches of a leafy tree.
And created a place where imagination reigns supreme.
A place for reading books and drinking lemonade.
A place for digging moats and flying airplanes and lowering secret messages tied to a rope and drawing pictures with glitter pens on the pages of a notebook.
A place where two tiny golden-haired princesses….
….can learn to speak the language of the flowers.
PS The tree house doesn’t look like this now.
The bowling pins are scattered across the lawn….the pillows are in the top of the tree house…..the cats are sleeping on the chair….and someone just wrote their name on the step.
So happy to report….
…..that imagination is alive and well.
disclosure: this post is sponsored by the brilliant colors of Krylon spray paint but all opinions are completely my own.
Please see my disclosure page for more information.