Creative freedom – a lesson from my grandson

It's a boat... it's a train...
It’s a boat… it’s a train…

We spent a few days in Portsmouth earlier this week with Pete’s daughter and family.  Pete was on DIY detail and I was left to play with George, our grandson.  I loved spending time with him, marvelling at the development in his language and manual dexterity.  Things he couldn’t communicate in December he now does, and things he couldn’t make work he now can.  Being two is a glorious age!

What I enjoyed most was witnessing the freedom of his mind.  It knows no limits, and his sense of improvisation deeply impressed me.  In fact, I was a bit envious.  The cushion in the photo became a train and a boat.  You needed tickets to ride it (obviously).  Georgie was always the driver, and his passengers varied.  Mostly Grandpa, often Granny, and always a toy – bear or triceratops (or otter, once he had a nappy put on him to stop him pooing everywhere).  “Off we go..” and then we’d be off, on an adventure to anywhere.  It didn’t much matter to Georgie.  He saw possibility in everything, and you could spend hours having an imaginary picnic on the beach, or riding the train through the mountains – even better, the train safari.  Sometimes when we got to the beach, we’d have to dive into the sea (the rug) and look at fishes.  He had a feather duster, used for sweeping, but also for catching fish.  He got really excited when he landed a big one, and a bit cross when they got away.

Yes, you might well say that I was envious at the creativity in his young mind.  But then I figured that it was well within my reach to allow myself the same freedoms.  Two days with Georgie has done more for my creativity than random prompts from a creativity book.  Perhaps it is no coincidence, but I’m also following the creativity programme with Andy Puddicombe at Headspace, and trying to bring about the qualities of lightness, brightness and space.  Perhaps it is the way I experienced being with Georgie because of the Headspace, but whatever, I really noticed that the wow and wonder of a child is a joyous thing.

I may not have done a whole lot of writing this week, but my imagination has been given a royal work out.  It has been a gift of a week.

If you haven’t seen Andy Puddicombe, I highly recommend this TedTalk.

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