As we get older, I’ve just turned 60, we realize if we’re lucky, that much of who we are and have been was formed in younger years. My formative years, years that shaped my values, beliefs, style and much of my personality, were when I was 7-10 living in the North End of Winnipeg Canada and which I’ve captured in a book initially written for my children ‘The North End Years’.
They were great years full of fun, fear, exploration, learning, adventure, death and more. For example that first year in the North End I was in Grade Two and school was not where I wanted to be. There was too much to do outside. Exploring the territory, making new friends, getting into trouble, playing games and more. But I was lucky I had a great teacher that year Miss Smith who made our young lives exciting with her stories. My favorite was ‘The Boxcar Children’ by Gertrude Warner which told the story of four orphaned kids who make a home in a boxcar they find in a forest. The adventures they had, as read by Miss Smith each day, were exciting and imaginative for us kids and it led to my own adventures hiding in our coal-bin in the basement of our house. From here I watched for friends and foes and ‘saw’ life unfold around me as my imagination soared. This was perhaps the start of my deliberate use of imagination to achieve my goals, and more than 50 years later I’m still doing so. What stories I wonder peaked your imagination, it could be fun to find out, so give it a try and then share them.