Of all the elements of my childhood to survive into adulthood, my imagination has easily been one of, if not the most, valuable.
The ability to see something before your eyes, and then see through it, even beyond it, is a precious gift. There were many days as a child that I sought refuge in the ability to watch the physical world around me melt away. Like shedding a skin that no longer fit, each time I ventured further into my mind and found myself physically walking a path that did not exist to another, I found not only freedom but solace and knowledge of the self.
To discover a new world before me was to discover a new world within me. I found new facets of myself and was able to find platforms with which to explore those facets.
Exposure to books, music, and nature was like taking a whetstone to my mind, and like casting light through a prism, each source brought forth a multitude of experiences and opportunities to learn and understand not only myself, but also the world as it appeared to be.
Through these exercises in escape and exploration, I found myself appreciating the varying shades of life around me. The way a simple shift in perspective can greatly differentiate between hues, and in turn know that no matter how brilliant or dull one may appear to me, there is no way to see the same color through another's eyes.
Imagination was a means of pulling me through time and space, through the worlds and words of others, and bursting through boundaries set by those who would rather confine and control than venture to step on new ground.
To imagine is to travel, to journey, and like all other aspects of the mind, the ability to do so is unique to the individual. Imagination is inherently incomparable, that is what makes it so precious. One may imagine through vision, others through words, even through means yet to be conveyed by human communication. One is not superior to another, nor is it inferior. It is simply what it is needed to be, not by direction or description of another, but by necessity of the individual and the mind which seeks to use it as the tool that it is.