We’ve all heard of the saying, “the best things in life are free.” This is not to be confused with, nor am I referring to, the sample bottles at the pharmacy, the free toothpaste packets, or the free shampoo bottles we receive in the mail.

It’s the natural beauty, the natural wonders of this small world, that are all too often overlooked or under appreciated. They are completely free of charge, no purse or wallet required. You can find it in the mountain ranges, the natural waterfalls, the rolling hills and valleys, and the peaceful, passing rivers that roll away near forgotten. They are all there to see, feel and touch, with no down payment, no cover charge and no deposit.

Just as a helpless romantic believes in happy endings, I believe in those “best things in life” and I go there every quiet chance I get. Those natural jewels are at my beck and call and no farther than the distance it takes to simply imagine them.

There is none more enjoyable, and not to mention, entirely free for the hauling, that of which we can imagine in our own minds. For, the mind’s eyes see with vision sharp and clear and will take you to distances far into and beyond forever if you only allow it.

When you need that little something more out of life, take that chance and hitch a ride on the Imagination Express. Climb aboard, the tickets are round-trip and free of charge. Every seat is first class and your own possession. You’ll be travelling light with no checked bags, and no carry-ons allowed. You’re the Captain, the Pilot, and the Conductor, and you have all the controls at hand. There are no whistle stops, nor anyone waiving red lanterns.

Follow along into those places of fantasy and make your escape, to destinations as close or as far as you care to stay aboard. Leave behind the daily stress, the nonsense, the drama, and all the issues that might have been true yesterday.

The Imagination Express has no schedules and boards anytime day or night. Take a journey to distant places never seen or experienced, and make it home before dark if need be.

The best things in life really are free. We are each with our own boarding pass, our imaginations allow this to be so.

J.D. Francis is a Waverly businessman and developer who also writes a monthly feature series called “Cattin’ Main.” He can be reached at jdfranpaint@msn.com.