Imagination grows in the loneliest of soils

The mind is both a prison and an escape. Memories can hold you captive, but imagination can set you free.

Sometimes my mind remembers a cool breeze pulled through a wire mesh screen by an unseen fan tucked away in the attic, this is summer. Other times I recall a warmth emanating from a hidden furnace in the floor, as I stand astride its hot grate as to not burn my bare feet; I called this winter. But there were moments of seasonal transition. Days when it was cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. These days would mirror each other in the Spring and Fall of the year.

An early season on a swing.

The older I get the more I seem to lose my grip on these transitions. The days, weeks, months, blend like a recap of a previously viewed episode of life. “Skip recap” my streaming service invites me to do so, but it is there just in case I’ve forgotten what I watched just a few minutes earlier. In fact, were I so inclined, I could just watch the last episode and opt not to “skip recap.” But then I would only get the highlights and not the minutia, the drama, the strategically placed glance, the moments tucked nicely within moments that keep me watching. Binging my way towards the finale, hoping that is but a season finale and not the series finale.

Today I read that “imagination grows in the loneliest of soils.” If this is true, then my soil may be the loneliest of all soils. Imagination both haunts and consoles my heart. It is as deep as it is wide. It is simultaneously light and dark, hot, and cold, both “G rated” and “viewer discretion advised.” The fertile soil of my mind has produced a harvest of flourishing grains, substantive, hearty, filling and sustaining. But in times of draught, it is barren, broken and cracked from the unrelenting Sun that hardens and separates. Dust.  Dry.

Nothing.

Dead.

Rain falls. First as an isolated drop then a deluge. The dryness of my mind absorbs new thoughts, ideas, insights. A persistent twig breaks through and a life-giving vine is born. A mighty oak is but a small nut that stood its ground. But eventually its leaves will fall. Cold will return. Ice and snow.

Dead.

The sun will shine again. How many of these seasons remain? How many will I see, before the sun sets to rise no more? For now, I find respite in the refuge of my imagination. Either fettered by fear or liberated by hope. I choose the latter, because really there is no choice.

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