The Little People

I love being a grown-up.

I can ride the bus on my own. I can cut and dye my hair. I can stay up really, really late. I can eat candy whenever I want, and I can drink beers. Many if I want.

And in all of this, I don’t have to ask anyone.

I can just do it.

But there is one thing I seem to have lost in the process of growing up – leaving the past and entering the future:

being

utterly, absolutely, entirely, so very deeply

in the present.

Be absorbed in it.

Be consumed by it.

Revel in it.

I can’t do it.

Because I “think too much,

feel too much,

and think too much about the feelings.”

as a new friend of mine said to me today.

Right on.

But how can I not think and not feel?

That would unhuman me, right?

So I look around me to see if I find any presence that’s singularly stuck in the present.

There is a one year-old desperately pulling herself up on her stroller and falling back down. She tries again and again. There are a few two year-olds performing somersaults on the museum floor. Again and again. There is a three year-old hopping up the stairs and hopping them back down, securely planting both feet on each step at the same time. Again and again.

And then puberty hits.

Confusion, loneliness, and boredom plague the land.

And then I don’t see much present presence anymore.

Except for maybe with the artist who is working on a new project on the studio floor. The newly weds who are gazing in one another’s eyes at the train station. The elderly couple that is helping each other down the slippery stairs.

But… the ice is getting thinner and thinner around

the aged,

the worn,

the jaded.

The boundless joy is most purely present when children are engrossed in playful explorations of the world we live in.

So for tonight, I’m going to try to integrate more somersaults into my Yoga practice, maybe add a few pull-ups to my runs, and change my stepping mechanisms for stairs and crosswalks and sidewalks on ordinary walks. And in the long run, it looks like childlike joy can only be preserved in the

arts and relationships.

Mmh. Maybe the former first, then the latter.

As much as those can be controlled, those wild, impulsive forces…

that make life worth it in the first place.