Hello Again! Since I had another writing exercise this morning and like how it unfolded, I am sharing it with you as well as my writing community. I hope you enjoy this ditty, and that it triggers some sweet memories for you, as well!
What inspires me most is….
There are so many paths I could explore with this statement. Too many. I will stick with the first thought that presented itself to me when I wrote those words on my pad of paper and set my timer for ten minutes.
Children. Children inspire me most. All children. Any child. My nieces and nephews, my friends’ children, even a child I never met and will never know.
Why do children inspire me so much?
I love a child’s purity of being. They have no artifice. They aren’t skilled at subterfuge and misrepresentation. They are authentically themselves, in all their charms, gifts, faults, flaws, challenging behaviors, and stunning humanity.
This is BEAUTIFUL to me.
I love the open innocence of those little faces gazing up at me. How they make intensely direct eye contact, or shyly hide behind their parent’s leg.
I feel bliss when I am in their presence. I feel blessed.
Even in the darkest days of my ten-year bout with chronic depression, I recall babysitting our family’s little ones, and my cloud always lifted the moment I was in their presence. Partly because I refused to impose my gloom on them. Partly because their radiance outshone my darkness. For those moments I was with them, I was free from my self-absorbed agony, and free to bask in their joy. It was the only relief I got.
Oh, yes, I also love children’s curiosity, imagination, and their desire to KNOW. Their willingness to hug, kiss, cuddle, and play.
Gosh, what’s not to love about a child?
Two examples of a child’s beauty come to my mind now.
There was a time when I was in yet another phase of sadness, and my sweet little two-year-old niece witnessed me sobbing. Even in the depths of my grief, I was consciously aware that my raw adult out-of-control emotion might terrify her. Instead, she moved toward me, to look me in the face, pat my shoulder and ask: “What’s wrong, Aunt Jill? Mommy, Aunt Jill is sad.” She was so concerned. There was so much kindness and care in that soft little voice and that gentle sweet touch.
Another time I was with my sister-in-law at her home. She was carrying her three-year-old son in her arms as she walked her mother to the driveway to bid farewell. It had been a very sad visit, since my sister-in-law’s father was in the last stages of cancer.
As my nephew clung to his mommy’s neck, I was standing behind them, feeling the grief as the women said goodbye, and I glimpsed my nephew’s little hand patting his mother’s back with such simple kindness and reassurance. He intuitively felt her need for comfort.
Recalling those gestures of these young children moves me to tears even now, many decades later.
Children reflect what is most precious in all of us. And we all remember there was a time when we were honest, pure, innocent, creative, imaginative, open, spontaneous, trusting and loving.
I think it is the yearning we feel to return to that state of being.
I think it is my life’s quest, actually.