They love to take long walks along the beach before the sun’s first light

A mother, father and their daughter…while the sky’s still filled with night.


On their walk one morning …they hadn’t traveled vary far

when their daughter pointed to the heavens and said, “Look! A shooting star!”


As they walked a little farther down the beach…was it luck…

or something Fate had planned…

for shimmering in the moonlight…was a starfish…in the sand.


“I wonder,” their daughter said, “If this is the same star we saw shooting across the night?”

Her mom and dad both smiled, “We think you could be right.”


“What are we going to do?” Their daughter said as she began to cry.

“How do we get this fallen star…back into the sky?”


“The solution is quite simple.” Her parents said. “Pick that star up…tenderly…wade out into the water and place it in the sea.”


“You needn’t fret or worry…If that star’s a her or him…

for every star is born with the ability to swim.”


“And each arm of a starfish is created with its own eye…

which will help to guide him on his journey to where the ocean meets the sky.”


“And once she reaches her destination…when the time is right

that star will rejoin all the other stars that brighten up our night.”


The daughter did as we was told…and when she was back on land and dry

She said, “I’m pretty sure when I let her go I saw her wave goodbye.”


They love to remember the smile on their daughter’s face…

as across other shores they roam…

The day their daughter helped a fallen star….

find it’s way back home.


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They love to play a game they call ‘Let’s Imagine’ because they never know the things that they will do or the places they will go.


They might imagine they’re riding on a cloud…or walking among the stars…that they are sitting on the edge of a crescent moon their next stops…Jupiter and Mars.


They might imagine themselves on a pirate ship upon the ocean…standing on its deck…or speeding across the sky holding on to the back of a dragon’s neck.


It’s funny how, in their imaginations, you will always find…the pirates are good pirates…and their dragons…gentle and kind.


They might imagine themselves inside a bubble soaring high above the land…or performing in front of thousands of people as the leaders of a band.


They might imagine each raindrop is a different color…or riding with the toys on Santa’s sleigh…or a world where pizza is the only meal…served three times every day.


They might imagine they are in a field filled with ice cream, candy and cakes…where nothing ever melts and their stomachs never ache.


They might imagine they are gliding with the birds or swimming with the fishes in the sea…for they have the power to imagine themselves to be anything they want to be.


“They have such wild imaginations!” 

That’s what their teachers and their parents say…

which always makes the smile… 


they can’t imagine being any other way.

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I love how I was created with the ability to imagine...alone or in a crowd...

I can imagine whales that fly, trees that talk, visiting castles in the clouds.


From anywhere I am at any moment…wherever I happen to be…

I can imagine I’m a bird soaring across the sky…or a pirate on the sea.


I can imagine I’m standing in a snowstorm…in Florida…in June…

I can imagine I’m jumping from star to star…or sitting on the moon.


I can imagine I’m in a Fairy Tale…riding atop my loyal steed wielding my trusty blade…in a world with damsels to be rescued…and dragons to be slayed.


I can imagine a world at peace…where everyone treats everyone the same…

where acceptance is the norm…and love lights every flame.


How blessed to have an imagination…an imagination created just for me…

with an unlimited number of places I can go…and wonders I can see. 


I am grounded in reality…of this I’ll never lose sight…

but having an imagination allows my fantasies to take flight.


Fantasy and reality…created in me to be forever inexplicably tied…

And I, for one, am glad they live in harmony side-by-side.


Of all the things I can imagine…

like a world where eating ice cream every day won’t make you fat…

a world where people have no imagination….

No…I just can't imagine that.

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I love to let my mind wander in the morning…while I walk the streets alone…

I never know where it will lead me…you might say my mind has a mind of its own.


Sometimes it leads to my friends, my children, my grandchildren…my wife.

other times it leads to God, love, war, hate or other mysteries of life.


Then there are mornings like this morning…where before my walk is done…

My mind, by the kind of questions it asks, decided to have a little fun.


Does the moon ever wonder about how she phases in and out…

does she ever ask herself why?

Is there a star that ever feels lonely and wishes for a friend to share the sky?


Is there a bird who’s ever wished she could sing a different song…

or that her music came with words?

Is there a cricket who’s ever wondered what it’d be like to be a bird?


Is there a snake who's ever wished he could walk instead of crawl?

Is there an evergreen whose ever wished she could be filled with color in the fall?


After listening to the voices of so many other animals…

is there a rabbit out there who wishes he had a voice too?

Is there an owl who wishes he could ask What, When, Where or How…

instead of always asking Who?


Are the clouds in the night happy being white or would another color they prefer?

Does the wind ever wish her beauty could be seen…or is she happy only being heard?


Is the water in the ocean at night happy being dark…or would it prefer to glow?

When not walking beside, behind or in front of me…where does my shadow go?


I never know where my mind will take me…where its wonderings will roam 

from the time I step out my front door…until I find my way back home.


But it’s fun on mornings…like this morning…

with my untethered mind as my guide…

to let it lead 

while I sit back

hold on tight

and just enjoy the ride.



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They had the same routine every night before he went to bed…his dad would read him a book, tuck him in…then this is what he said:


“May this be the best night you’ve ever had my son of any night so far…may your dreams be filled with wonder as you play among the stars.”


One morning he awoke with a smile on his face…remembering the dream he had…and he quickly ran to the breakfast table so he could tell his dad.


“Dad! Dad! It finally happened!” he yelled…”I dreamt I played among the stars…

in all my dreams this was the best dream I’ve ever had…by far.


In fact I flew right by Venus and Jupiter…stopping on Mars instead…

and when I told her I thought she was beautiful…boy did she turn red.


Then I sat for a little while and dangled my feet off of the crescent moon…

listening to the constellation Lyra as she played a pretty tune.


As I sat there on the moon I began to feel hotter and hotter and hotter

so I picked up the big dipper and asked Aquarius for some water.


I played fetch with Canis Major and Minor…oh how good it felt…

until Orion told me if I didn’t stop…he’d be taking off his belt.


I spent some time with the North Star…of all the stars he’s the politest 

and I talked a lot with Sirius..because he is, of course…the brightest.


I even rode a shooting star and you might find this hard to understand

but when I woke up in my bed this morning…I found this stardust in my hand.


His father smiled at his son’s excitement…then said, son, come with me

there’s something I’ve been holding onto I think it’s time for you see.


He opened up a drawer in his bedroom saying. “I too have flown among the stars…

then reaching into the drawer…he pulled out an old and weathered jar.


In here is stardust I’ve saved all these years…as hard to believe as it may seem

but when I was your age…years ago…I had a similar dream.


I suggest you keep your stardust with you always…he said handing his son a jar..

to be shared with your children…the morning after…they play among the stars.


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His dad did not die a rich man…at least not materially…

but he left him something more endearing…a lasting memory.


His dad taught him how to imagine…how to imagine BIG…and small

and his imagination turned out to be one of his greatest gifts of all.


Together they’d wrote poetry…it was the best of times…

imagining silly stories…finding words that rhyme…


He was not surprised when his dad bequeathed him his old wooden ladder…rickety and patched…and not surprised to find, on the bottom rung, a note his dad attached.


‘Imagination is a gift,’ it read...‘cherish it everyday...

at times in life, when you seem lost..it will help you find your way…


I leave you my old wooden ladder…use it to climb up to the moon…

or to the clouds where you can watch the snow gently floating down in June.


Use it to climb atop a whale…imagine riding him out to sea

Use it to tame a fire-breathing dragon…or have a conversation with a tree.


My hope is that you’ll never forget the fun he had while rhyming…

And his ladder will be a reminder…to let your imagination do the climbing. 


He thinks of his dad quite often while in the clouds imagining the snow gently floating down in June

And he imagines his dad is smiling…

every time he climbs his ladder to the moon.



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A father loved to take his children and sit under what he called their imagination tree.

There he would ask: if you could imagine yourself as something else what would that something else be?


Once their dreaming was ignited and their imaginations were set free…

their father loved to listen to what his children were imagining…underneath their imagination tree.


I imagine I’m a cricket in the night…with no music to accompany me...I’d sing a-cappella

and anytime it starts to rain….I’ll use a mushroom as my umbrella.


I would love to climb a rainbow,…as you can see I am quite small.

I’d love to know what it feels like…to go down the biggest slide of all.


I want to ride upon a cloud…across the world I’d sweep…

and anytime when I got tired…I’d have a comfortable place to sleep.


I want to be a leaf on a tree…if I could be anything at all

I want to sway with my leaf friends on a windy day…and change my colors in the Fall.


I’d love to ride on the back of a pelican…I can imagine how much fun that would be…

I’d drag my hands along the water as we glide across the sea.


The father always smiled as he listened…as his children’s imaginations flew

for wherever their imaginings took them…they would take him too.


One day the children asked the father…as they sat underneath the tree…

“Father, if you could imagine yourself as something else what would that something else be?”


The father looked at his children…and smiled

as they sat together under their tree…

“You may find this hard to believe," he said,

“but I imagine I am happiest being who I am.

in a place I never imagined I would be”.


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Their children would run ahead of them

as they walked along the shore

because next to the sea there’s so much to see…and so much to explore.


It’s where they found their imagination…the children would later say

discovered in the stories they’d invent about the things they found along the way.


Of the many shells they found on their walk…be they small or fat or thin

they would make up stories of who lived in them and where they might have been.


They’d talk of the different rooms inside the shells…

what was hidden behind their doors

what country this shell may have come from before finding its way to this shore.


If they happened upon a starfish…they would immediately mourn the death

of the star that fell to earth after taking its last breath.


They would hold it up and wonder how brightly it must have shined

and they would search the across the heavens for the hole it left behind.


When they’d find a piece of driftwood…they’d wonder about its trip.

Was it part of a row boat, a schooner, a yacht…or better yet…

a pirate ship?


They’d dream it was from a pirate ship…that sails the seas no more

and wonder if those pirates buried their treasure…somewhere along this shore…


Their parents have long since passed away…

but now it’s their children’s children who adore

discovering their imaginations 

on their walks along the shore.



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Yesterday I was surprised, I was amazed…I was elated

to have the privilege of watching a masterpiece of art being created.


I sat next to the artist…and again I was in awe

as he put his pencil to his paper…and he began to draw.


And I began to smile…then I began to stare

for never have I seen a pencil move so fast..

with so much grace…

and so much flair.


He told me what he was drawing…was it a fire engine…or a bird

but the artist is just learning my language…and I didn’t understand a word.


His inspiration ended quickly…as inspirations sometimes do…

His masterpiece completed…

in a minute…

maybe two.


And again I was surprised and amazed at his generosity

for without a thought about it…he gave his masterpiece to me.


As he ran out of the room…this thought occurred to me…

When he does become a famous artist I can say…

I knew him when we was three.

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