Sunday, August 3, 2014
To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The night falls gently in the summer. Stillness peacefully embraces the cottage, and our exhausted grandchildren lie motionless in their bunks. My husband returns from a late paddle and heads to bed with a book. It’s just me now left to view the indigo sky slowly blend into the black, tree-lined horizon.
And then the Lego Movie theme song earworm starts: “Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team,” and I smile because this is one of those occasions when I want time to stop so I can so fully bathe in the absolute joy of being a grandmother.
When I slow down and join in the softness and silliness that is childhood, the minute hand tumbles off and the hour becomes irrelevant. Is it time for a snack or a meal? Only the clock really knows. Do I care? With my feet lightly dancing around and over the boundary, I simultaneously read my audience and remember the pledge to return them safely. Yes, I care. I care their spirits are free to soar and express themselves in as many ways as they possibly can imagine. “Nana, can we swim in our clothes?” Would that be fun? “Ya!!!” Okay sure. “Nana, can we get naked and play with the water blasters?” Would that be fun? “Ya!!!” Okay sure. “Nana, can we play marching band and go all the way up the hill and back?” Okay, let’s!
Although the six year-old boys are very busy and energetic, their vibration isn’t frenetic, instead it is enchanting. Their vulnerability is so beautiful, and I cherish it because this to me is what beauty is – total openness. Expectations, limitations, and shoulds are yet unwritten, and instead there is just a universe of possibility.
This sense of wonder and creativity is what gets me out of bed each day, and to have fellow explorers around just sets my heart to overflowing.
Not everyone can handle such aliveness. Being spontaneous can be terrifying when one can’t hear their inner voice. Accidents happen because warning signals aren’t noticed and lines are crossed. But when one is fully alive and in the moment, yawns and slips are picked up and “one more minute” warnings are laid down and rarely fought.
It’s taken me years to return to this child-like state of being, years of practice to reconnect my mind and heart. One hard lesson was when my instincts were telling me to bring an address book to town, but since it made no sense, I didn’t. Then I got there and remembered a birthday was coming up and I had planned on mailing a card – but now I didn’t have the address and it would be late. On the other hand, I forgot where I put my sunglasses the other day and followed an unexplained urge for a glass of water. Guess where the sunglasses were – beside the sink.
Being fully alive isn’t always easy. There are just so many distractions in this busy, digital age that make it easy to turn off and tune out. However now I know I can easily return to that magical vibe by letting go into that state of vulnerability - child’s play.
There is nothing beyond the screen windows now but uniform darkness. Not even stars, and I love it because what I do see is endless possibility.
My gaze turns to the right, and I see my reflection in a pane of glass. With profound love I smile at the woman I have become…then wink to the girl I will always be.
Everything is awesome!