When I was a kid, I wasn’t into action figures or trucks like many of my friends. Instead, my imaginative playtime centered on pretending I was in charge of a farm. Not the type with plants; my imaginary farms were all about the animals.
Laying out stalls, pens and pastures, I carefully placed the various animals (some were stuffed and some made of plastic) in their respective areas. And then I went through each area and fed the animals, washed them, took them out to “pasture” and then rounded them up and brought them safely back.
One of my favorite picture books was about tractors. I marveled at their power in moving earth at the will of the operator. The colors of the tractors were vibrant and magical in my childhood mind, much like those of Thomas the Tank Engine. My grownup mind dulls the colors and dampers the excitement of working with powerful machinery as reason and realism replaces childhood reverie.
Purchasing an equestrian center certainly has involved hours of analysis and rational decision-making. But, I must admit, traces of magical childhood memories also fuel my imagination and awaken my spirit.
And the greens of the barn stall panels and the blues of the grain silos, though dulled and weathered by time, are vibrant and alive as they call out to my soul to return to a younger time and reopen the gates of hope.