A Nation of Makers

June 17–23 has been declared by The White House as a time to celebrate all those “makers” in our world.

“Empowering students and adults to create, innovate, tinker, and make their ideas and solutions into reality is at the heart of the Maker Movement.”

What better time than this to ponder the whole notion of creativity and how we can foster it in our children and in ourselves.

I love Julie Cameron’s words “Festivity breeds creativity!”  (Julia Cameron is the world renowned author of The Artist’s Way and many other books surrounding the whole issue of creativity.

But of course, by festivity, I do not think she means an endless round of parties and merry making, but rather, a way of living–a way of taking the time to bask in the wonder of nature–in meadows and mountains, starlight and sunlight, and in the wonder of human nature–in the kindness of a stranger or the loyalty of a friend.  This kind of festivity is rooted in how and what we choose to love.

My book, Inventor McGregor, was inspired by my own fascination with the creative process, due in part to the fact that my homeland, Scotland, is renowned for a whole host of inventors:

John Logie Baird (television)

Alexander Graham Bell (telephone)

John McAdam (tarmac)

Charles Mackintosh (we call a raincoat a “Mackintosh” in Scotland)

Sir Alexander Fleming (penicillin)

There is even a book called “How the Scots Invented the Modern World.”

So, no wonder that the hero of my book is an INVENTOR. Hector McGregor is a jolly fellow married to a cheery wife who loves to invent all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to make the world a better place. And every night before the shades are drawn, “he nestles his fiddle beneath his chin and plays a rousing reel, while all around the house from parlor to pantry, his cheery wife, his five children, and his hen called, Hattie, whirl and whoosh and wheesh.”  And yes, WHEESH is a real word– a Scottish word!

But when McGregor is lured away to a sterile laboratory in the city all his ideas dry up.  When he sees some painters at work across the street, his creative juices start to flow once more and he discovers that the source of his inspiration lies in all that he loves.

We would all do well to follow McGregor’s example and take time to bask in those fleeting moments of glory– the whiff of wet heather, the sight of nodding bluebells, or watching a marmalade cat curled up in a sunspot.

“Inspiration” is a Latin word, meaning to breathe life into.

A good question to ask our children and ourselves at the end of a day: “What breathed life into you?”

Always the answer will be what McGregor discovered: LOVE INSPIRES!