Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Imagination

*mamakat's writer's workshop: Enchanted*

I remember when I was little I thought winter was awesome. I made pretend that our house was a cabin in the woods while I sipped my hot chocolate by the fire place and looked out the window into the backyard.

I had a broad imagination as a child, to say the least. I loved to pretend that my house was a ranch. I often thought I was Laura Ingalls Wilder as a little girl. She was my favorite! And I wanted to have animals and adventures just like Laura.

In the snowy confines of my back yard I would stamp little paths leading here and there to ride my imaginary horses around on. Each of them had a name and was a special breed. All of my horses were 17 hands high because I believed that all horses should be very tall. The tallest horses were the prettiest. I was enamored with Arabian horses, but Clydesdales were my absolute favorite. I loved the feathering detail on their feet, their enormous size, and how pretty they looked as a general rule. I knew Clydesdales were draft horses, and usually their work on a farm was to pull wagons and sleighs, but oh how I just wanted to ride one!

The front yard of the house I grew up in had a ditch in the front that ran around the corner of the yard, all along the street. That ditch is where my brother learned to ride a bike, where I taught myself how to do a back bend by placing my hands higher up than my feet. It was a place to sit and talk with friends in the summer time and our own personal sledding hill in the winter.

In my Laura persona, I would go to garage and pull out my sled into the front yard. Then I would go around back and my imaginary horse to pull me around. Mostly my horse just pulled me down our little ditch-hill. Once we had sledded enough times though, we got brave and started to stand on our sleds.

We pretended that instead of horse sleighs, our sleds were now snowboards! Ah!

We were professionals, you see. But of course, why wouldn't we be? And we would race down our pathetically tiny excuse of a mountainous hill. We would sled and sled and sled and build snowmen and snow-women with eight boobs but no carrot noses. We would play outside until it got late, with only the yellow glow of the house lights and the one street lamp to illuminate our playing field.

I do miss being little and not having to worry about paychecks and text books, passing final exams, getting good grades, relationships, and being clean. I miss being able to stay out until nine o'clock (oh wow how late!) sledding in the front yard after dinner. I like being a grown up now, but I do miss being a little kid. Maybe that's why all my artwork is very childish, you think?


  1. When I had children, I felt like I was recapturing that child-imagination through them. It's awesome. Visiting from Mama Kat

  2. Beautifully put! I think you're a brilliant writer, and I must say, I dig the art!

    You can see my Writer's workshop post here.

  3. Natalie, we totally would have been BFFs as kids. Except I would have had to fight you for the right to be pretend-Laura because she was definitely my favorite too. Just saying.


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