I spent many summer afternoons, from the ages of five to ten, tied to the swing set in my back yard with an old jump rope. It may have been uncomfortable at times, but it was all part of the game. My sister and I would get together with our neighbors almost every day to play this game we made up called “Witches”. One person would be the evil witch and the rest would be the fearless witch hunters. I was almost always the witch, but I didn’t care. I just let them chase me around the yard. Getting to be someone else, even for only a few hours, was what made the game appealing to me.
I believe that imagination provides a useful outlet for creativity, allowing someone of any age to put their life on hold for a little while and not think about all that stresses them, because, for a while, you are someone completely different. When I was younger, ‘Witches’ wasn’t the only pretend game I played. At school my friends and I would play ‘Doom Runners’ during recess, getting so caught up in whatever foe we were fighting, or ally we were saving, we would completely lose track of time. Almost anything we could dream of went into that game; magical powers, fake names, perilous situations. It was all there.
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break from reality. If no one were to read and write stories, watch movies or even watch TV and listen to music, there would be little else to focus on other than the daily happenings in people’s lives. There would be nothing other than the black and white of what is possible and what isn’t, which would make for a very dull life. Imagination provides the interesting and offbeat, just one of the many things that make us all different.
Now that I’m older, I don’t necessarily run around the backyard with a plastic sword stabbing thin air, but I do act silly and stupid in the same way with my friends. We may be teenagers but we miraculously still contain the imagination of someone half our age, as my dad is always pointing out. Together we do everything from pretending that taking out the garbage is some sort of perilous mission, and that at any moment we could be killed by the Evil Dark Lord of Cookies, to making up our own spy show.
One day my friends Monica and Alyssa were hanging out with me at my house, and as usual we weren’t doing anything much other than sitting around. Then we got the idea to make our own TV show imitating all the teenage spy movies out there. So, dressing completely in black, we set off into my backyard to film. This later became known as the first episode of the Fireflies, as it was dutifully. All within fifteen minutes of film, and two hours of running around, we were able to thoroughly embarrass ourselves and still recover the stolen ‘sphere of immortality’.
Being able to retain and use my imagination, this small part of my childhood, is what makes my life so entertaining. A great imagination is one of the best ways to break up the monotony of everyday life. I shudder at what the world would be like with out the great dreamers of every generation. No books, no movies, no television shows, and no music. Everything people take for granted everyday was thought up by someone. Everyday I am grateful for those imaginations, both young and old, as I am grateful for my own imagination that I will continue to use for the rest of my life.
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