How A Trip Back Home Lights Creative Fires Through Early Memories

All I could think was, “The trees are so BIG!” I recently drove down the street where I lived my earliest years. How could the trees be that big? They were so small when I lived there. Now they arch over the street like a grand cathedral.

And how could my house be so small? I remember my tiny, three-bedroom ranch being a virtual mansion. I remember running down the 15-foot hallway as though it were a 100 yard sprint. I remember the back yard being like our own “back 40.”

Time has passed, but my memories have not. As I drove down the street I remembered our homemade haunted houses occupied with Frankenstein and Dracula, the evenings playing Statue Maker out in the dimly lit front yard, and the plays we wrote, directed, and for which we made sets.

I remembered the endless evenings we spent playing Marco Polo in the backyard pool. I remembered shooting a BB gun at a target in the basement, Billie the Brownie hiding in the study around Christmas time, and whittling my Pinewood Derby car in the workshop.

I was reminded of my childhood friends, riding a two-wheeled bike for the first time, and pretending to be Bart Starr crossing the goal line. Our homemade go-kart raced the Indy 500. My first ten-speed bike took me on a race against imaginary Olympic athletes. I was a fisherman catching crayfish in the creek down the block.

As I reflected on a literal trip down memory lane, I was reminded just how wide open my creativity was as a kid. My right brain knew no bounds. My little house burgeoned with big ideas. But those ideas didn’t just remain trapped in my head. My sisters and I, along with our neighborhood friends, brought them to life.

It’s a great lesson for adult-style creativity. An occasional trip down memory lane is a reminder of how infinite and exciting creativity can be. It’s also impetus to carry through with ideas that right now may only be floating around in one’s head.

Dream as though dreams will come true. Create as through the creation will come alive. Follow through as though the follow through really matters.

Don’t be afraid to be a kid again.

When was the last time you visited, drove by, or even spent a few moments thinking about the house that provides your earliest memories?

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6 thoughts on “How A Trip Back Home Lights Creative Fires Through Early Memories

  1. While my childhood home on 1st and Meinecke was still there, I had the same feelings you described. Of course, now it has all been razed for the freeway system.

  2. I go past there almost every time I come to church! It's amazing to think how we used to play wiffleball/kickball in the alley. Now you look at it and you wonder how you ever fit a car down that alley!

    Mom got to go in the house not too long ago. I think that would make me sad, based on the changes she described.

    Those memories sure do come flooding back, though!