Got Creativity?

A tiny bit of magic showed up in Golden Gate Park last week. Someone installed a miniature door at the base of an elm tree, spurring talk of gnomes, elves, and Alice in Wonderland. People are visiting the park just so they can take a peek behind the door.

Who went to the trouble of putting it there? Who saw that little hollow at the base of the elm tree and knew it needed a door? What world did they envision on the other side?

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at

You can buy books full of writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing, but the best kind of writing prompts are the ones straight out of the real world. As soon as I heard the about the tiny door, my mind started to come up with scenarios of what might be on the other side. The imagination of one individual has sparked the imagination of countless others. That’s the thing about creativity. It’s infectious—the best kind of disease there is.

The part of the story that really makes me happy is that park officials plan to leave it there. Instead of complaining about the vandalism of a tree, they’re giving people a chance to open that tiny door and discover for themselves what’s on the other side.

It’s a good reminder that we need to be looking for doors—the things that inspire us—in unexpected places. But even more importantly, it’s a reminder to look for opportunities to inspire others. We have to look for those ordinary hollows in need of a door and let our creativity flow.

©2013 Kim Vandel

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