The Original Mind of Imagination

Waiting for Her 1st Homemade Browies

Waiting for the 1st Brownies She Has Ever Made

Walt Disney once said, “Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination.”

No truer words spoken. A perfect state-of-mind to enter life: full of curiosity and void of bias or preconceived notions of race, politics and status. Ahead, only the beauty of life waiting to be discovered.

Bliss.

Halloween Magic for the Young

Halloween Magic for the Young

Then the battle begins. The real world slowly creeps in and starts to chip away at the power of our imagination. Seeds of the uninspired are planted. Warped prejudices and materialistic thought take root, separating the mind from the simple beauty of life.

For some, this pure “original mind of imagination” is lost and in its place grows a closed stagnate mind, angry and frustrated with life. Therein lies the danger of getting older.

Horse Ranch on the Minam River, Wallowa Mountains

Horse Ranch on the Minam River, Wallowa Mountains

Conversely, there is not a better recipe for success of a child than building dreams, as inspiration and imagination keeps the mind evolving.

Last month I had a birthday, a day to celebrate my parents. They still inspire and not a day goes by where some lesson or dream created as a kid is re-visited, another reminder as to how lucky I am.

Parents and I at Lane-Riley Pond

Relaxing at Lane-Riley Pond

A day to celebrate their commitment in creating a world where imagination never disappears into despair, even in times of frustration or sadness.  There is no specific moment where the lessons they taught crystalized, instead a lifetime full of memories and experiences.

Our "Freakies Cereal" Ad in the Wallowas Amid the Rain...

Our “Freakies Cereal” Ad in the Wallowas Amid the Rain…

The above photo is one of my favorites. It reminds me of family and the importance of keeping a positive and open mind, no matter what the circumstances.

The photo was taken when I was 10 years old in the Wallowa Mountains on vacation. Often, our vacations would include a little chaos whether something broke, someone got lost or something forgotten (I was pretty good at such things). There would be a sigh from my parents followed by a little laughter, and then they would make-do.

Pine Lake Adventures on Horseback

Pine Lake Adventures on Horseback

On this trip we took pack-horses up into the Eagle Cap Wilderness for a week of camping, and the normal fine summer weather of Eastern Oregon turned on us.

Steady rain the first night set the stage when at two a.m. a scream from my sister woke us all as water poured into our kid’s tent. Mom and Dad stepped out into the rain, saw the problem, and motioned us to pour into their tent where we slept for the remainder of the week.

The weather that night was just a precursor for the rain and chills that swamped us during the week.

Best Living Room in the World, my Mom and I couldn't help smiling when we were suppose to frown...

My Mom and I couldn’t help smiling when we were suppose to frown…best living room in the world

Three days into the trip, US Forest Service rangers stopped by expecting to rescue us, instead my parents rescued them with hot coffee and a fire under our makeshift shelter. A shelter I still refer to as the best living room we’ve ever had.

My parents had a knack for creating something beautiful when the situation called for the opposite.  We still talk about that cold and rainy week spent in the Wallowa Mountains, and unanimously consider it to be one of the greatest vacations we’ve ever had.

Along the North Skokomish River

Mom and Dad on the Staircase Trail

Mom and Dad, in the words of my 1980’s self, you both rock.

While it is a part of life to deal with bleak and sad moments, I know I can count on a seed of possibility to bloom in my mind when such times arrive. You’ve taught me difficult times often hold the rare opportunity to find and create something great.

Sisters and their horses bringing home dinner

Sisters on Their Horses, Bringing Home Dinner

As Walt Disney stated, every child is blessed with a vivid imagination but Disney also added that life can often zap such a gift before it can truly blossom.

The sadness and senseless violence we hear about in our daily news is derived from the fear of the unknown, the result of closed and unimaginative minds.

Brundage Mountain Ski Vacation, McCall

Brundage Mountain Ski Vacation, McCall

Fortunately, amid all the negativity we see around the world, it pales in comparison to the greatness and creativity of its children.

It is in the eyes of my nieces and nephews, the eyes of the children of my friends around the world; great minds full of dreams with ideas ready to lead.

The 'Rents and The Future

The ‘Rents and The Future

I give thanks to my Mom and Dad who fed my imagination, and along with family and friends who helped strengthen it over time.

The emotion and meaning behind the words I’ve written here hold something no language can describe. Instead, look into the eyes of all those you’ve touched and you will understand what I mean.

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad to the lives you have created.

On Hood Canal ~ Taking the Canoe to Hoodsport

On Hood Canal ~ Taking the Canoe to Hoodsport

Best Smile in the World...

Best Smile in the World…

214 Comments on “The Original Mind of Imagination

  1. Beautiful words, and fabulous family photos and childhood memories to go with them. I can sense how much you cherish them by the clarity with which you recall them, and you remind me of some of the happier moments in my own, somewhat broken childhood.

    • Thank you Ali, as a family we’ve talked about this vacation quite a bit over the years and so when I started thinking about this post of imagination ~ it seemed a perfect fit. The moments of happiness in childhood (whether frequent or rare) are such important pieces to hold onto. Wishing you a great summer of happiness with your family and adventures of the mind 🙂 Take care ~

  2. Happy birthday to your parents! What a wonderful tribute. And, yes, if only we could let the child in us survive passed adulthood, we would all be more creative, imaginative and I believe happier. Fun to see those photos from your early days. Only shows that already then you had a talent for photography.

    • It is a difficult path for us as we move forward in life to make sure the ‘child within us’ not only stays with us, but is also allow to grow even further. Nothing quite like some great memories and positive lessons of life (even in tough times) to keep the child there with us at all times, and nature has a good way of making it so. Thank you Otto.

  3. You really have endearing ways that make you succeed in the non-fiction world, Randall: Your eyes and fingers capture the best moments; while your memory, along with your heart seals the emotion and stitches them in ways connecting you to the world–and vice versa. Kudos for another wonderful post! I look forward for more.

    • A beautiful comment Aina. The adventures of life are amazingly diverse and wild, but finding and holding onto those moments we learn and enjoy it the greatest way to try to understand all that is around us. Very much appreciate your thoughts and wish you well. Have a great summer ~

  4. Your parents do rock! What adventures you’ve all had together, especially the camping in the rain! So many sisters, haha. Beautiful photos, all of them. You’re right, as children we have so much imagination, but then a lot of it disappears as life and difficulties come our way. You’re parents are fantastic for maintaining hope and imagination. xx

    • Ha, ha ~ yes, they really do rock, and still amazed at the fun/troubles we still get into 🙂 As for sisters, I agree with you too many!!! Nothing quite like family to keep things real and imaginative ~ enjoy your time with your visiting brother…it is important for sisters to dote on their brothers don’t forget, heh heh.

  5. What a cool tribute! 🙂 Families rock! Randall shoots… I see. A nice warm post. Happy Sunday! Peace, UT

    • Yes, families do rock ~ very similar to a roller coaster, a lot of up and few downs and no matter what always a pretty thrilling ride 🙂 Cheer to you UT ~

  6. What childhood offers is a sense of wonder as everything is new. I think it is always easier to see the wonder in a ‘first’, so as adults when firsts become rarer the challenge is to find a way to harness those feelings and to continue to find them in new things and in old, familiar things seen anew!! You have such wonderful family memories and that is a true blessing in life. I feel lucky in the same way. Your capture of the young girl awaiting her first ever brownies certainly does convey her anticipation and joy!!

    • Yes, this sense of newness is why the mind of a child is so special ~ the best way to go about life, and you paint a great thought in as adults we need to find this feeling of “newness” again. Nothing quite like a great family by your side, as well as brownies in the oven 🙂

      • Oh yes…I am imagining the sweetness of brownies in the air!! Really too bad I don’t bake!! Well, I used to do Toll House cookies when my boys were young!! Redemption enough I pray!! 🙂

  7. Pictures of love… and such a glowing celebration of your life together. The “business” of life is often overwhelming, but love, imagination, adventure and the possibility of an endless horizon are the gifts that get us through—how fortunate you were to have received them so early in life. As the youngest and only girl in a family and extended family of boys… I was also blessed by a life of adventurous imagination (and occasionally a little torture hehe). How beautiful to read the story of someone who loves their family every bit as much as I love mine.

    • “A glowing celebration of your life together,” that is a great description, something to slow life down a bit and see it for what it is. Sounds like we are quite similar, I was the only boy in a sea of sister ~ and what a struggle it was 🙂 Wish you a great week Wendy and cheers to a wonderful summer of adventures as well.

      • I must say that I really did enjoy this post as it reminded me so much of my family…. a sea of girls… ha! I was overwhelmed by 12– that’s right TWELVE boys… o.m.g. but now, their my angels. Hoping you have a great rest of the summer as well– and hopefully we’ll all slow down a bit and “see life for what it is–” …and ALWAYS, what it can be! xx

      • Wow, 12 boys…you are quite lucky ~ 12 angels looking after their sis 🙂 It will be a great summer ~ enjoy!

      • Yes I hope so– but I should say that I have only 1 older brother and 11 boy 1st cousins… 🙂 oy…. !!

  8. nice trip!!!
    btw, ther’s saying in Asian cultures, the higher the dream the hurtes the pain for falling, but all i said is “fuck that saying thou!!!i can dream what i want, as long it’s not about the unicorn…..

  9. Beautiful tribute for your parents and family, so touching and it seems you have a loving family relationship – you are so lucky! Great images, Randall 🙂

    • Thank you Indah, the memories of growing up are special and I understand how lucky it was to have a family so close. Wishing you a great summer.

  10. The story about your parents and childhood are beautiful. Loved all the imagination and dream talk. This post made me feel like I was 3 again, free. Free of understanding everyday life (the negative stuff). May the world keep on dreaming 🙂

    • Yes, the young mind free of any inhibiting thought and full of dreams…not a bad place to be. Thanks ~

  11. An amazing post, really loved the narrative, I agree with you, this real world influences us in many ways, but it is up to us to protect our imagination from its degradation. I loved the story you told us. 🙂

    • I like the way you put this, “…it is up to us to protect our imagination from its degradation” as it one of the greatest responsibilities we have. ~ Thank you and cheers to a great summer!

  12. so wonderful Randall i appreciate that you are grateful and acknowledge your privileges…compose a happy day…love your posts! smiles ~ hedy

  13. Such a lovely post dedicated to your parents! Looking through your childhood adventures made me smile. You all look so happy! How lucky you were to grow up with parents who learned you to appreciate nature and show you that as long as you stay together you can have fun despite the rain poring down. Those Freakies must have been pretty soaked:)

    • It was a pretty exciting time to be a kid with parents who liked to get outside and camp & see the land. Always an adventure, and together always fun. Freakies were awesome wet or dry 🙂

  14. Wonderful, warm reception memories with your family, beautiful images, where the love grow between you and your parents and family.
    I missed you post, because I’m still recovering from the surgery. Both very nice; pictures and stories.
    See you soon in a story and pictures. wish you good luck Randy. Warm regards @Della.

    • Wishing you the best Della ~ keep strong and look forward to seeing you shine again in the summertime sun. Take care, Randy

  15. A really lovely and inspiring post Randall! You’ve got a wonderful family, and a beautiful and loving way of seeing and understanding life. Love the photos! 🙂

    • Thank you Elina ~ sometimes the simple things in life are the best, and to me that is finding the good (even when the moment is not). Cheers to a great weekend.

      • I agree, and I believe that’s the key to feeling the joy of life. Have a wonderful weekend Randall!

  16. We miss you. A very timely post. I feel the pain whenever I read or see horrible news from the media. The ISIS, the police incidents and the people mocking them, racisms … they’re just rampant these days. At times, I can’t take it anymore.
    Life really is cruel but beautiful.
    It’s funny how it’s always the ones with extreme misadventures are often the most memorable.
    Loving these old photographs!!!

    • Thanks Rommel – agree with old photographs, always interesting to look back. And with so much craziness going on the world, it is good to look back and see how good even past misadventures turned out.

  17. Thanks for sharing your wonderful family and sweet memories with us. It’s good to see it.

    • Thanks Mary, it was nice to run back to the past with this post…perfect timing as I’m heading back to the States to see them 🙂 Cheers!

  18. I only know you from your blog, but I sat here and read this post and thought that of all the people I would like to have met in my life, you and your family would have been up there. What a wonderful bunch of photos and memories attached to them. You Mum and Dad gave you much and I’m sure you continue to experience what they did, in a roundabout way, every day of your life. Thanks for sharing this – wonderful reading.

    • This is a great comment Kim, thank you very much. You’re right, not a day goes by where the experiences of the past find a big role in determining where I am today and have me thinking of where I am going tomorrow. It is great to take time every now and reflect on the good times. Wish you a great week ~ Cheers!

      • Indeed important to remember those good times. They’ll carry you through the tough times. I’m finding that to be ever so true right now as I grapple with the emotions of seeing my Mum endure dementia. The loss of her memory is hard to witness.

      • This is a part of life that I have a tough time with, dealing with emotions of losing loved ones…and in your case, it must even be more difficult having to deal with it while she is still very much there. You’ve got my respect and also wishing you the best. Take care Kim, and enjoy the time we have ~

  19. A lovely story about your wonderful family, Randall. If everyone has parents like yours, this would be a different world – no more violence, crime, lies… Thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s a pleasure to get to know your parents.
    No wonder the little child inside of me refuse to grow up — she is still waiting for a childhood like yours. 😉

    • Thank you very much Helen. Life can be so complicated, and I think the greatest gift I got as a child was to simply be able to enjoy being a child. Also, I think as with you. having the child in us refusing to grow up is a great thing as it keeps the child inside of us alive and well. 🙂 My adventures into nature and the wild are in part getting back to that thinking again ~ Cheers to a great week!

  20. Wow. I read your post first thing this morning; felt myself slow down, breathe, and slip into your words… The images accompanying the prose are fantastic as well. This post, for me, is a great reminder to us all to never let that ‘inner child’ drift too far away; to keep him/her close, cherished, and active in our lives. Thank you for this gift today.

    • K’lee, such a perfect response to the beginning of a day: slow down, breathe and take in what nature brings. I believe doing so keeps that inner-child alive and well up until the end. Wishing you a great summer!

  21. Happy Birthday to your parents! 😉 Childhood memories are always a great reminder of keeping the child in us. It is the best to keep everything as creative as it can be without adding unnecessary and harmful pressures onto ourselves. 😉 It’s so amazing to look at all your childhood photos with great adventures and beautiful memories!!! Your parents would be proud to see this lovely tribute I’m sure. Thank you for this beautifully written post! Have a wonderful week and take care! 🙂

    • 🙂 Ha, ha ~ thank you Khloe, agree there is nothing quite like diving back into the past sometimes to keep the child in us happy. There are always such turmoils in life, that it is good to have both memories and lessons to think about and move us forward. The nice thing about creativity, is that it will always keep us young. Take care and home all is well back in Hong Kong 😉

      • You’re welcome😊 I agree, turmoils in life indeed make us grow and mature… Part of the essentials to make life magical 😍That’s exactly why I love creativity ( who doesn’t love staying young right?!?😝) Thank you so much! Have a wonderful day! 😉

  22. First a belated Happy Birthday, and what a gift your parents gave you in allowing you scope to explore not only the Nature around you, but to explore the realms of your imagination. And I am pleased I saved visiting your post until I had time to savour each word and devour your wonderful past adventures.
    My eyes are still moist as I read the love you hold dear within each of your words that your parents are such a gift to you. And you to them.

    I do not possess many of my childhood photo’s My mother kept most of them, but those I do have I treasure. We hold so many treasures within our hearts as we tap into our memories.. And those which are held forever close to our hearts are still as vivid as any Walt Disney fantasia wonderland.

    You said “Fortunately, amid all the negativity we see around the world, it pales in comparison to the greatness and creativity of its children.
    It is in the eyes of my nieces and nephews, the eyes of the children of my friends around the world; great minds full of dreams with ideas ready to lead.”

    Leaders of this world are born with vision and imagination.. They dare hold their dreams high.

    I also encourage our 4 yr old granddaughters imagination. and I too see it in her eyes… We have to nurture the imagination and dreams of our children.. We have to encourage them to step beyond boundaries we have settled for.. For the world is being passed into their hands..

    You said.. “The sadness and senseless violence we hear about in our daily news is derived from the fear of the unknown, the result of closed and unimaginative minds.”…
    So true.. So much Fear of the unknown.. and not enough desire to change our ways of being… We can no longer just think it is someone else’s responsibility . Harmony of our world begins within each of our homes.. If we can not make peace with our neighbours, within our own families, how can we expect nations with such differences to get along.
    When we start to hold our own Dreams and Live them. we then within our imaginings create our reality. For what we think we create.. We are all of us Co-creators..

    May we all of us us our Minds and start to think with our Hearts as One.

    Love and Blessings Dalo…

    Thank you for this beautiful post
    Sue

    • Your four year-old granddaughters are indeed very lucky to have you in their lives, the impact a kind heart has on children is immense and as an adult it also gives us such a different perspective of life that we often forget about as we get older. This is a wonderful comment Sue and while there seems to be so much conflict in the world – it is that much more important to cherish the peace and happiness around us. Wish you a great summer ~

      • Summer is a special time for family gatherings and time together.. And while there often is turbulence within the world.. We can always find that tranquillity of space to project our Peace into it.. And I can see from all of your photo memories, that as a family you gathered around you all much Peacefulness and Joy as you explored your adventures of togetherness. Many thanks Dalo for this lovely response. Sue 🙂

  23. So much soul and so much gratitude… I love how you celebrate children and its powerful, pure mind. Makes me sore to think about family, but it makes me so happy and feel extremely blessed at the same time. Thank you for this post. It moves just the right kind of heart.

    • The child’s mind is something to admire and celebrate – there will always be conflicts, but under it all there is this power. As you say it makes one feel blessed. Take care and wish you a great week!

  24. Enchanting! That to me is a dream childhood. I couldn’t help, but let my mind wander to my childhood adventures, inspired by the adventure books I was reading, and then riding on my horse (bike) in the woods hundreds of years in the past, escaping sometimes rather unpleasant reality…You are very fortunate to have such amazing parents.
    You are so right what you said about children. They are our future, and we all have to take utmost care of them, and make sure that their minds and imagination are not corrupted by those who seek to for their own benefit. Their pull is strong, but ultimately loving and wise parents- like your parents- have more power.
    Thank you for posting this, and belated Happy Birthday!
    Gia x

    • Hey Gia, it was a bit of a surreal childhood in many respects…the parts of nature for me a direct relationship of growing up in a small, countryside town. Your bike story is awesome, when I first arrived in Xi’an China years ago, I once had to ride my back from one end of town to the other after midnight and the streets were deserted. I imagined myself hundreds of years in the past approaching those great city walls…and it was very cool. Thanks for sharing your memory 🙂 Wishing you a great summer – off to Utah next week for work and a bit more of nature 🙂

      • Wow, that must have been magical! I play that game too sometimes when I walk through certain places, I flashback hundreds/thousands of years into the past, and I wonder about its inhabitants imagining them going about their day…..Thank you Randall, wishing you grand summer too!!! Utah is beautiful, we might be going there towards the end of August. 🙂 xx

  25. What a beautiful tribute to your parents and family, Randall! And what wonderful memories you all have together — exploring, being creativity, loving nature… Thank you for sharing your lovely family!

    • Thank you Neely, it felt weird putting my family out there in the post but it was such a great time & great memory. Cheers ~

  26. Such a wonderful family! I am happy that you have that kind of parents who gave you the chance to follow your dreams. Indeed, the childhood period is one of the most amazing in our life, we enjoy every little thing and don’t worry about something, but although we grow, we shouldn’t allow the maturity to let us transform into robots. There is still a sparkle in our hearts. Smiling all the time is the key to happiness. 🙂

    • Thank you Camelia, yes that is one thing I can look back and endlessly thank the parents for ~ letting me dream and pursue what felt right. You are right about maturity, sometimes society forces us to become ‘mature robots’ instead of letting us just flow along. Agree with smiling 🙂 🙂

  27. Your family camping pictures are wonderful. I can sense the love and joy you shared. Camping was a big part of life with my first husband. He, his Black Lab, Soloman, our youngest son and I joined our church’s youth group several summers for a week of canoeing and camping in the Algonquin Park in Canada. Earlier we also took family camping vacations with all three of our sons and our little white dog named Sheba.

    • Agree, nothing quite like getting out and experiencing the wilderness with family ~ great times!

  28. Wow. Love this, and love the pics. What a wonderful tribute you’ve given, and what an incredible heritage you have. You are blessed. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you Mia ~ not a day goes by when I do not think about how lucky I am to have a family like I do to support (and tolerate) me 🙂

  29. I LOVE all the words and images here, Randall. I feel honored to learn more about you and your wonderful family. You make the world a better place (and I imagine that everybody reading this would agree with me).

    • It took me awhile when I was young to appreciate all my parents did for us kids and our friends…great parents make the world a better place 🙂

  30. What a beautiful tribute! As you say, among the negativity, it is so wonderful to read about your parent’s example and know – this world has a chance!

    • There is something about the idealism of youth that keeps hope going 🙂 Thank you Inese ~

  31. What a wonderful and touching post. I’m not surprised, though, that a drizzly holiday in the wilderness was one of your greatest ever. Having people you love around you makes anything better. My family were not as adventurous as yours, but the happiest Christmases I can remember were the simplest ones, my family and I sitting around a table playing Scrabble or Monopoly.

    • Agree, having great people around made the days great. We had Rummy Royal as our big table playing game…great, simple fun.

  32. Also i love your incorporation of imagination. It is the most greatest things we have as a privilege

  33. What a happy post this is 🙂 So true about the child living totally in the present . I can gauge that looking back at my own childhood , from memories of my kids growing up and now, lucky me, from spending my days with my little grandson. My daughter has been leaving him to my care while she goes to work . He’s three now and it has been really magical watching him go through his cognitive processes and the way their imagination takes to magical moments, be it pretending to be some animal, or santa or a scarecrow and what-not. It has given me the chance to join him in that magical land and so I can relate to everything you’ve said in this post. Wish your parents many healthy happy ahead. Just by reading a few posts of yours, one can see how they’ve influenced your attitude to life.:-)

    • Just returned back from travels in a restricted internet zone, and loved seeing this comment. It brought me back to those great days of my youth. Cannot emphasize enough how important a happy childhood is ~ just makes for happier adults and appreciation for the good in life. It is people like you and the time you spend with your grandson that make life that much better. Wish you a great spring ~

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