The Idea Garden

garden When the wheels start turning, and ideas start bubbling over so fast that they tumble over one another, and your cheeks start to get a bit flushed because you can’t wait to create…

That’s inspiration.

It’s a happy thing. It provides a goal, a direction, something to pursue. When I’ve got it, I know it. And when I don’t have it, I’m kind of mopey. Blah. I want to feel inspired.

My daughter is her mother’s daughter, one who has been wired with a love for inspiration. After watching Disney’s Tangled the other night, she was brushing her teeth and wondering aloud what it would be like if she had hair as long as Rapunzel’s. I told her she should write a story about that, and she proceeded to bounce around the house as if I had just suggested we go to Disneyworld. “That’s the best idea ever!” (Really? I think I’ve had better, but evidently she disagreed.) I discouraged her from launching into it that night before bed, but I knew she was lying in there, eyes wide open, chomping at the bit to get started on the project.

This week, we had a “magic show” for the neighborhood kids at our house. Inspired by a real magic show that we saw at the library, she checked out a book, learned some tricks to perform, and then begged me to let her friends come over and watch. She went full-throttle, making individual invitations for each friend. It was very Little Rascals.

“For my next trick, I will pop a grape on my head and make it come out my mouth.”

“Now I am going to push this glass through the table. May I have a volunteer? Please wave the wand and say ‘Abracadabra’.”

Alfalfa, Spanky, Darla, and the gang were amazed. Then we had cookies and juice. A good time was had by all. And it all began with a little idea-seed.

I remember when my now-husband asked me to marry him and gave me a diamond engagement ring. My mom’s comment on the ring was this: “Anytime you need a little bit of inspiration, you can just look at that.” A sweet observation. But it’s true in a way, how the purity of the diamond’s colors and intricate facets sparkle when the light hits it just right. I take it for granted because it has been on my hand for 13 years.

I forget that there is something beautiful and inspiring right under my nose. Not just in a diamond ring. There is plenty of inspiration to be found if I remember to look for it, seeing in technicolor and not just black and white.

Sometimes the idea-seed garden is rather sparse, and other times it’s way overgrown. Sometimes it needs watering and MiracleGro, and sometimes it needs weeding and sorting. But either condition that the garden is in requires work of some sort. Otherwise, the ideas just bubble up from the garden, float off, and are forgotten…like helium balloons against the blue sky.

I want to catch them right when they bloom, when they are at their zenith. I want to pick freshly-bloomed ideas from the garden while I can, and do something with them.

Or else they will get away.

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