One of my favorite childhood memories took place in the autumn about 50 years ago. We had huge trees in our yard. That meant, of course, that there were always lots of leaves to rake. Lots of leaves and it seemed to be an everyday thing to do for weeks on end. Now that I’m an adult, I realize that it probably only lasted a few days at most.
My mom used to rake them into little rows. Those rows would form “walls” of my imaginary house. I would have a bedroom, a kitchen, dining room and a living room. I could play for hours in my leaf house. My imaginary friend, Sally and I would talk, have tea parties, sweep the floor of stray leaves and tidy up the walls. I tried to get my cat, Mrs. Beasley, to stay inside the leaf house, but she wasn’t having any of that. She walked right through the walls, destroying them as she went. She wasn’t very cooperative with most things, she hated it when I tried to dress her in a baby bonnet and put her in a baby buggy too.
My daddy would come home from work and rake the leaves into a giant pile. I would jump into the pile and throw leaves in the air. Or I would burrow under the leaves and hide. When I popped up again, I would have leaves stuck to my sweatshirt and in my hair.
Things like that never bothered me when I was little. I can’t imagine laying in a pile of leaves and getting them stuck to me today. Why do we grow up and lose the fun in life? When do we get too big to enjoy the simple things and let our imaginations run wild?
Simple things, like just a pile of dead leaves on the ground can inspire so much in a child. Don’t stifle that creativity – you may never get it back again.