I’m sitting in a bright, cozy little coffee shop in Flagstaff typing this out next to a warm mug of tea, surrounded by college students tapping out papers, checking facebook, and sharing stories, ideas and laughs. It’s a good place to be on a Monday. The reason I even mention my setting is that whatever the playlist is that’s wafting through the shop out of propped up speakers is absolutely perfect. It’s a mix of some good classic rock, folk, a few oldies and a cover or two of those periods. They’ve played Ray Lamontagne, The Beach Boys, and a bit of James Taylor. And just when you think you’ve reached quite possibly the pinnacle of your morning, they play it.
John Lennon on a piano somewhere asking me to join him and Imagine…
Yeah, it was one of those moments where you look up and watch a movie director motioning to the lead camera to slowly pull out from the shot as the lead actor takes a sip of his latte, the shot zooms out further to pan over the smiling extras sitting at tables… well, you get it.
After contemplating my brief Hollywood stint, I got to thinking about that song; the simplicity, the gall of asking adults to use there imagination to make the world better. I was reminded that just the other day the boys were left to their own devices while we cleaned up dinner and before long they were playing a totally made-up game involving them geared up with everything from binacolars to nerf guns acting as Santa’s elves in charge of defending a vegetable patch from Wamp rats. I think there are a solid four movie and book references in the mix. They played for 45 minutes straight.
That’s some imagination.
Shortly after this game, I got completely distracted on my ipad and began planning out my future happy life with everything from a GoPro to a food truck. I peeled myself away from my screen feeling so unfulfilled I realized that I needed a Trader Joe’s Peppermint Cookie (yeah, we stock up; every year. No, you can’t have any.) As I tried to fill the hole in my soul with a cookie, I realized how ridiculous this was: I’ve got a really good life. I don’t need anything right now. In fact, I could probably get rid of half of what I have, not feel it, and be just as happy.
I remember pre-Asia trip Lanna and I were trying to let the boys know some things to expect: long lines at places, overnight flights, different foods etc. and Aven piped up and said “Is this longer than North Dakota?!” And aside from my youngest son’s infatuation with on of the most northerly, least populated states in the Union, I realized that he has absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. Asia, North Dakota, Tempe, Flagstaff… it’s all just a plane ride here, a road trip there. Everyday for two weeeks leading up to the trip he asked if this was the day we were going to Hong Kong.
He has no idea. His whole life is in the Now. Right here. Right Now.
This is truly awesome, when you think about it. All these gurus and artists wax poetic about imagining worlds, living in the now, being present, finding joy in the little things, don’t worry, be happy… A few have even said to take it all in like a kid. Be happy. Be like that little kid that built a fort out of a box, shot nerf darts at aliens, and discovered something new.
Imagine what could happen all around us if more of us just imagained…