She watches with caution, but not fear, the mud dauber trekking across the walkway, pulling along a freshly killed spider that is equal in size to the hunter.
She runs with excitement, barefooted and squealing, through the grass while her grandparents pretend to “chase” her.
She steps in concentration, heel-to-toe, along the tops of the flower bed borders, losing balance only once.
She yells with passion, and not in a little girl voice, for everyone–by name–to come see what she has just discovered.
She repeats precisely, “FAN-tas-tic” in measured slow syllables, just as her grandfather teaches her.
In a moment of nonchalance she is walking across the yard and she hears an airplane overhead. She pauses and looks up. It takes a few seconds for the plane to come into view as it emerges from the clouds. Without being told, she waves and sends her verbal greeting, “Hey airplane!” As soon as it moves out of sight, she turns to me and says, “I went on a pink airplane.” In a moment of shocked silence, I scrambled for a response. “You did? Were you scared?”
“Did you have fun?”
“Are you going again?”
“Can I come with you?”
The brief interlude of conversation was over and off she sent on her next adventure of discovery. We three adults in attendance looked at each other, all three of us with expressions of shock, amusement and wonder on our faces. This child has never flown before, you see, although several members of her family recently have.
As I was driving home, replaying the mental videos I had acquired of this child on this particular evening, a quite familiar song began to play from the radio and interrupted my thoughts of this simple toddler. The quite familiar song, Lyin’ Eyes by the Eagles, was from the mid 70’s. As I sang along with the radio, the contrast between the two images were startling to contemplate, that being the child of innocent abandonment and the city girl of the song.
The stories of life do that to us at times. Instead of becoming wiser, we become jaded and cynical. We collect many things that we have been convinced that will bring us pleasure and security, but instead they entrap us with hands as cold as ice. Our smile becomes a thin disguise and we pour ourselves a strong one that numbs the pain as we settle in for a long, lonely night. Our embraces become acts void of faith, love or hope.
The stories of life do that to us at times, when the stories of our life is written without the Lover.
When will we embrace the Lover and return to being the child of innocent abandonment?
Watching with caution, but not in fear?
Running with excitement?
Stepping with concentration?
Giving voice with passion?