Childhood casts a sweet shadow which happily plays, deep in some corner of cerebral cortex, beckoning with pudgy fingers festooned with Earth’s clean dirt, for the adulting mind to come back – to return for respite from the demands of peers persistent pressure to homogenize, to fit in, to produce and consume and be responsible. All good words, surely, but accompanied by the strict exigencies of dire duty as well as an ego, fie, conditioned to be seen, lauded, and rewarded with what society deems appropriate gold stars: new automobiles, status, obese and insulting oversized homes, and demeaning trips on cruise ships.
The child within is recognized, sometimes, through a hazy fog of alcohol as funs, giggles, absurdities, and plays are allowed – within reason. Otherwise, no – that creature, so fresh from God, is denied and overpowered with neckties, manners, expectations and protocol. As such Fun – life enjoyment – takes a severe back seat to behavior limitations as the box is ever more confined. Some people forget how to dance, and an unfortunate few how to laugh.
Still, there she is, in the corner, peeping out at the adult, with her hand raised in supplication to be recognized and remembered, and then, given a little play. Memories of snowballs, hide and seek in dark basements, climbing maple and elm trees, king of the mountain, diving into real water, playing cowboys and Indians, catching blue gills, or just staring endlessly at a summer sky festooned with rambunctious clouds clashing with blue blue depthless and forever space.
Sweet solace and life hints dwell mightily in the little hearts of children and are shyly offered to us as we go forward through our times and towards our little turn to return to the light – or whatever waits in the boundless beyond.
That our pre-adolescent ways are oftimes so societally warped is a wound to our soul, and lucky is the one who can carry whiffs of those ways throughout the journey home.