Life is the art of drawing without an eraser ~ John W. Gardner
When I was a young girl, my family moved from England to Canada. We settled in a small town, Canoe, that lies on the Eastern edge of another small town, Salmon Arm, nestled up against the Shuswap Lake and flanked by mountains. My dad, having always had an entrepreneurial spirit, had bought a campground that we lived on for the first few years after our big move. The campground was large and green and lush. From the highway the campground looked pretty standard. Lots of green grass and trees, shading various camping sites from the hot summer sun. But the campground had more to it than that, there was an expansive valley, hidden from the road. It was a serene spot, protected from the road noise, complete with a creek running through it. A creek where I incidentally caught my first fish, with a stick and some fishing line.
In those early years, while I was still settling in and making new friends. The campground was an arena that sparked my creative nature and my imagination ran wild. In the winter, I built forts, digging into the snow banks and hollowing out a space to crawl in, with the help of my older brother. We had a cabin on the property, that had a gable roof and low hanging eaves. The snow that fell was often deep, but after my dad drove the snow plow down the gravel camp roads, the snow would be piled past the top of the eaves. Walking between the cabin wall and the snow pile, we would carve into the bank, building our fort. Complete with icicle framed windows. In the summer, I fished in the creek and went exploring looking for fairies and pixies and other woodland creatures. And looking for rocks. But only the perfect rocks for the idea that I was slowly crafting.
Perhaps sparked by my dad’s entrepreneurial drive and fueled by my creativity, I started my first business. Other kids had lemonade stands. Sitting behind their small tables and pouring out glasses of powdered lemonade for 25 cents. I had a different idea. I still sat in my chair behind my small table selling my wares, but instead of lemonade, I sold pet rocks. For a $1 each. Location was everything, so I positioned myself in front of the campground office, ensuring a steady flow of traffic. A family friend knitted small hats and scarves for my creations and I eagerly glued them on, along with “googley” eyeballs. I sold out every day. And spent the afternoon seeking more perfect rocks for the next day.
My dad taught me a lot about hard work. As an entrepreneur his entire life, it never came easy and my parents worked hard to make their living. I watched my dad look for opportunities, build passion and be creative with his endeavors. It wasn’t always successful. There were more than a few failed attempts, but this was never a deterrent but rather motivated him to find another way, to look for another door and find the next opportunity to throw his passion behind. I work hard, but I have always held on to my creative spirit and my imagination. I was taught to work hard, to do what I love and reminded to never forget to take time to play.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing ~ George Bernard Shaw