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finding shapes in clouds
or four-leaf clovers in fields . . .
the child’s eye searches
What does it mean to view life through a child’s eyes? For me it means searching for things of wonder to revel in. Also it means enjoying simple things, which as adults, we eventually seem to lose interest in. I recall my childhood winter vacation times: the eagerness with which I donned my woolen scarf and mittens just to go sledding down a hill of snow over and over and over again in the cold. Even if I were as limber and daring as I was in the old days, I cannot imagine having any desire at all to slide down hills of snow today. Spring would come along, and I’d jump in puddles after the rain with no thought to how dirty I might be getting. Would I have no care in the world doing that today?
I recall summers of my childhood. Oh, how sweet it was when school let out for summer vacation. I relished so many things: riding my bike, chasing my siblings with a hose, walking a long way just to splash in the city pool; then trekking back home wearing a popsycle smile. What pleasure I took in the neighborhood games of volleyball, kickball, tag or hide-and-seek. Today I have other interests that consume me, and games I might play today would rarely involve physical activity!
Then there were the autumns of my youth, especially Halloween and my running door to door gathering more candy in my brown paper bag than almost anybody else in my family. How I must have annoyed the people whose doors I knocked on at 10 p.m. These days, I turn off my own house lights by 9 p.m. to feign having gone to bed when youngsters dare to show the same audacity which I myself exhibited as a young trick-or-treater!
How differently we view the world as small children from the way we view things today. Those seasonal activities that enthralled us as children give way for other exciting life events: dating, college, traveling, marriage. Maybe the secret is not so much in WHAT we are doing but more in the level of excitement that we FEEL for what we do as adults. We must keep strong our joy in celebrating life, even if the activities that enthrall the adult versions of ourselves have changed.
Finally, I suppose we can never recapture our childlike passion for swinging on swings or searching for four-leaf clovers, but we can relive the joy of these simple pleasures by watching as our children or grandchildren engage in these activities for the first time! Long ago, I would have dreams of soaring through the sky. Those dreams vanished with time. Perhaps my flying dreams represented for me the hope of a future that I could not possibly comprehend in my childhood’s mind. How fanciful is the child’s mind and how wondrous is the world through his eyes.
that flit through dusks of summer . . .
dreaming of flying
June 26, 2022
For the "Like a Child" Poetry Contest of Regina McIntosh
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