on time, and being grown-up: part 1

How is it already April 19th?

Why does it feel that time flies by more quickly now than it used to? Spring – the air, the greenery, the fragrant flower-perfumed breezes – always sends me hints from childhood. I can close my eyes and breathe, and feel the carefree childishness return for a moment…just for a moment. I am six or seven or eight again, filled with giddy excitement at the thought of taking a walk round the neighborhood with my mom and grandmother. We admire the dogwoods and the colorful azaleas, the latter ablaze with glory in orange and red and white. My head fills with dreams of summer days by the pool, splashing my feet in the water as our dog barks with excitement just outside the gate. I remember setting up a tent with my brother in the vacant lot next to my grandparents’ house, which is now my aunt and uncle’s front lawn. We spent an entire day there once, pretending we were encamped in the wilderness and had to find nuts and berries for our food. (Actually, Mom brought us some sandwiches.) Being outdoors, tasting the flavor of spring (complete with dusty yellow pollen), was exciting. Even thrilling. If I try to describe the feeling it gave me then – the feeling I still get in smaller doses, now – I would say that it made me feel alive.

What happened to me, that I can only now seize such feelings in scraps and pieces; hardly enough to fill my heart with throbbing gladness at the advent of new life, of spring? I’ve grown up, but why should that make a difference? Perhaps I’ve grown cynical. I know I have. Back then, life had a few bumps, but was mostly a beautiful world of adventure. My most pressing commitments were schoolwork and writing back to pen-pals, and I assumed that life would remain peaceful and happy. I trusted that it would.

I miss that. (More thoughts later.)

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8 Responses

  1. I know what you’re feeling, and I have the same longing for the simpler, carefree days of childhood summers. This summer, I want to enjoy the beauty of each day, unspoiled by thoughts of tomorrow.

  2. I think part of it has to do with being outdoors… there’s something inspiring about fresh air. I’ve been instituting a daily walk with my siblings and this morning as I walked under the blue sky, with the vibrant green of new leaves delighting my eyes and the sweet breath of spring wind blowing over me, I was thinking the same thing about feeling *alive*. And dreamy. Ready to let my imagination take over.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you on this topic!

    • Yes! It’s when I am outdoors that I feel in touch with that alive-ness. And imagination…indeed! It inspires me to create; to write. Lovely spring. 🙂

  3. I think this is something that happens to most people as they grow out of childhood.

    For some of us, it would probably take a determined effort of will on our part, and maybe even divine intercession, to bring us back to that state of innocent, carefree enjoyment.

  4. This captures the wistful feeling I’ve been experiencing… yet, it also makes me smile in understanding; especially about writing back to penpals being the most pressing thing on your schedule.

    I think this is why I love to take time to, literally, smell the flowers and enjoy time outdoors. For a moment, I’m transported back to that carefree state of being where all is right with the world.

    I hope you do get to enjoy a carefree, happy sort of summer this year. 🙂

  5. Well said, dear friend. I miss that too.

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