Ray Bradbury, sci-fi and fantasy writer extraordinaire, really had the right idea. For more than seven decades, he inspired his readers to think outside the box, color outside the lines, run with scissors … dream, think and create. He published a book of essays entitled “Bradbury Speaks”and wrote “In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.”
What he was saying was “Don't delay. Throw off the lines and leave the dock!”. Despite his vivid imagination and prolific creative writing, he still understood that reading and fantasizing about the world never takes the place of actually experiencing it firsthand. We are the sum of our experiences. He encouraged us to explore. There's so much world to see, so much to do and so little time, grab every second. Live and explore. Don't sit and knit mittens or whittle wood in your rocking chair. Don't sleep away your life … there's plenty of time for that later.
Walk on the edge of a volcano and feel the earth tremble beneath your feet. Stretch yourself. Get scared a little. Walk midst the ferns of New Zealand. Feel warm rain on your face. Watch sunsets and sunrises. Swim with penguins and dolphins. Climb mountains. Take long walks. Bask in the history of those that traveled the same path before you and left their mark. It's all out there just waiting to be discovered … all over again for the first time. Wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say “I'm happy because I've lived my life to the fullest.” That's our plan!