When I think of summer, I picture grass and sky and the perfect tree. It's a wise old tree, broad at the base for my back to lean against, and sturdy limbs low to the ground, so it's easily climbed. Tiny sparrows hop among the leaves and in the blue sky beyond, odd-shaped clouds stream past. It's the ideal daydreaming spot.
And daydreaming should be at the top of your list this summer. Yeah, yeah, squeeze in all the other important stuff: sleeping late, beach time, hanging out with friends. But leave room for mind drifting.
Think about it. How many times have you been accused of daydreaming when others want your attention focused on class, homework or listening? Do you ever wish for uninterrupted time to let your mind wander? Well, here it is. There are no teachers. No textbooks. What you have is hours of unscheduled down time. So give your mind permission to roam. Find the strangest cloud. Or an unbelievable insect with iridescent eyes and impossibly thin gossamer wings. Imagine the smallest things big and the biggest things small. Imagine another world or this world in another way. Just imagine.
Writers and artists rely on their ability to unlock their brains and set their imagination free. It's not always easy to do that. Life fills up with other things, like school, parents, even friends. One day, if you choose a career in the arts, you'll be paid to spend your time daydreaming. But for now, you have summer.
January feels like a pause between the holidays and spring, which usually comes to Florida in mid February. But this year we've had a mild winter and the trees and ladybugs have declared spring early.
It's hard to stay inside. My husband and I have lengthened our morning walks, exploring new territory. I'm fascinated by scenes viewed through portals-like openings. They seem like invitations to explore . . .
. . . or intros to stories.
There are stories everywhere I look. Like these otters romping in a tree stump. Is the face in the wood a self portrait of the artist? Was he inspired by creatures he saw in the creek that runs alongside the stump?
On the way home, we found two tiles scattered beside an intersection. We flipped them over and united them. Were they tossed out a car window? Are they mourning love lost or celebrating new love? How can the imagination not be sparked by this mystery?
I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. And creatures, always creatures. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Lorin Oberweger - Freelance Editor