When I was a boy, like most boys and girls, I would lie in the grass and stare up at the sky. I would watch the clouds go by and find shapes in them that related to my world down here on earth. I would see animals mostly, but also occasionally a house or flower or perhaps something a little more unusual would form. I loved the way that one thing would morph into another as the clouds moved past. My imagination soared in a sky filled with clouds.
At night I would lie in the same grass and stare at the same sky, but instead of clouds I would try to find the big dipper or the little dipper or other shapes created by the countless stars dotting the darkness above me. It was all so large. The earth was so huge. The universe was so vast, so far beyond the comprehension of my young brain. Even the blades of grass below me were too many to count. But none of it was big enough to contain my imagination.
Sometimes I would look at a rainbow or the horizon and know that if I put my mind to it I could walk far enough to find it.
Children allow themselves. Children let themselves dream. They let themselves pretend. They let themselves play. They can take a crayon and draw a line and find in that single magenta line myriad pictures. They can speak a word or even a syllable and find a million stories in that single utterance.
Today I looked at the clouds above me. In the middle of running from one thing to the next, in the middle of so many daily responsibilities, I saw shapes in the clouds. I connected with the child within me. I let my imagination soar a bit and realized that the only real responsibility I have in this life is to live it, and living it is better if I allow myself to dream, to imagine, to be. Maybe tomorrow I will walk to the distant horizon.