The view from my kitchen window is a sight I’ve not quite gotten accustomed to. There is raw beauty with the pond lined with trees that have been growing longer than I’ve been alive. Yesterday as I washed the dishes I watched a blue heron crane take its time looking for food. Nothing interrupted its tranquility nor deterred it from its goal. This morning as I approached the sink with breakfast dishes, movement drew my attention to a young deer lingering at the pond. My heart raced with excitement and my tongue stuttered over the words when I rang my dad to tell him. Its ears perked up when my heat pump kicked in yet it did not run. Its ears perked up and its head turned toward the woods behind the barn every few minutes. Was it listening for the movement of other deer? Interestingly enough, as cars rushed down the road in the front of the property, the young deer paid no mind or at least it did not stop grazing to look up.
I’ve not quite gotten accustomed to the golden-haired toddler in my life. She takes my breath away when her words spurt out wisdom that many adults are lacking. She makes my heart race with excitement and anticipation when I watch her in discovery mode. She quickens my breath and my thoughts when she begins to ask questions with child-like innocence and openness about things that defy understanding for most adults. As we watched a Hallmark Channel movie setting of covered wagons going out west, she wanted to know why the pretty woman on the TV screen was crying and why was she sad and why they were putting the man in the ground and where was that man going and why is he no longer in the movie. She and I shifted to a picnic on the floor, munching away on hot buttered popcorn and creating new designs with the primary-colored wooden blocks. The movie still played on the screen but she seemed to have lost interest. She paid me no heed as I kept whispering, “I love you” for her goal of creating the perfectly aligned formation of blocks kept her fixated and immune to distraction. Interestingly enough, it seemed as if she was not listening to me or to the movie until simultaneously she heard the words “I love you” from me and from the hero on the screen. It was then that she giggled, revealing that she had indeed heard me the many times I had spoken as well as hearing the dialogue from the tv. She was listening but chose to focus and not to respond.
In the midst of innocence, there is beauty and wonder. Oh to always live as if there is only innocence all around. It is breathtaking. It is inspiring. It is humbling. It can make your heart race with anticipation and with excitement. It can fill your eyes with tears too precious to wipe away. It can cause a moment in time to be forever embedded in your mind.
In the midst of innocence, it feels quite safe and natural to be open and vulnerable. May those who enter my home find themselves to be in the midst of innocence. May those who share my part of the world find themselves in the midst of innocence, naturally open and safely vulnerable.