My daughter is a creative thinker. The way she sees the world astonishes me and when she shares her deepest thoughts and ideas I’m often left amazed. Last week as we drove home from my parents’ house, up our mountain road, we launched into our recurring conversation topic of “when I think of X, I see X.” I always find her responses fascinating and cherish the opportunity to get a little glimpse into how her beautiful mind works.

“Do you know what image comes to mind when I think of adulthood?” she asked.

“Hmm. I don’t know. Tell me” I said.

“A long hallway that is tilted upward,” she replied. And always after she shares one of her visions, she follows with, “I don’t know why.”

This seemed profound. A long hallway tilted upward. This vision was clearly seared in my mind. Familiar even. I think she nailed it. My mind started racing down a path filled with images that included doors that were locked, some slightly askew, areas filled with light others shrouded in darkness. Adulthood does feel that way a lot of the time. I concurred.

She went on to ask, “Do you know what I see when I think of my birthday?”

“Tell me,” I encouraged.

“When I think of my birthday, I see a gray parking garage with no cars parked in it and it’s raining inside of it. I don’t know why,” she continued.

“Do you feel sad about your birthday?” I probed further.

“No,” she replied. “It feels mysterious.”

I supposed at this age, nine-years-old, the world does feel mysterious and the idea of getting older is filled with unknowns, excitement, a little foreboding, and mystery.

I offered, “Maybe you should dance in the rain inside that empty garage. Imagine the sounds of the splashing and all that space!”

She smiled and winked at me. Love this kid.

One thing this recurring conversation with my daughter is giving me, besides feeling connected to her in the most profound ways, is perspective. The reminder that we don’t all see the world the same way. The reminder to pause and consider what visions come to mind when you think of your life. What do those visions give you? How can those visions help you?

When you think of your life, what do you see?

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