In this season of thanksgiving, and holiday giving and receiving, I have been appreciating what a gift I have in the constellation of my life: two very young grandchildren, Leo and Hazel. Their unrestrained engagement with life reminds me, over and over again, what it means to be fully here, present in the moment. Each, in their unique ways, is completely occupied with their immediate experience and everyone and everything around them, in rich expression, moment by moment. They are expert at simply BEING.
Would that we each could rediscover the fullness of wonder in each moment. And then the next. And the next, as it arrives. Not looking backward to the past or forward to future, but living this very instant with joy and discovery. Moving with abandon through emotion—delight, curiosity, excitement, and sometimes too, pain and dissatisfaction. But the great thing about being able to live in the present is that unhappiness is fleeting. It is gone when it is gone; one year olds do not carry baggage as they move on.
Leo and Hazel are very much interested in the objective world around them. They are not self-absorbed; rather, they are outwardly focused, stimulated by their surroundings, eagerly considering and taking in the universe outside their own beautiful minds. They are absorbed in discovery every day—nearly every minute of every day–as they unearth new marvels of this brilliant life.
We each come into this world wide eyed, fully accomplished in knowing the moment. So quickly we are taught fear—both directly and by modeled behavior—as we learn the necessary boundaries of our newborn enthusiasm for exploring this world. Yes, it is important to know not to touch a hot stove, and so the lessons are needed. But in the process we lose a certain freedom. And we begin to lose the memory of our complete sovereignty and our understanding of simply being the free souls we are in truth.
Give yourself a gift, and in so doing a gift to those around you: take a moment and remember your original and pure sense of joy—you may have to wander back a long way to retrieve that felt sense, but it is there. Go find it! And hold it dear; bring that remembered feeling into your present moment. Again and again.
May you find many joyful moments now and always.
Susan, these pictures of your grandchildren truly convey the point you are making in your blog this month, and you are so right in your observation about what we can learn from young children. Thank you.
deb hilfman says
Such a wonderful reminder. We should all pause at the wisdom that comes from our childrem.
Thanks for sharing these insightful thoughts — and the lovely photos!!! This blog makes me want to run outside and play!
I smiled and nodded throughout the reading of your blog post. It is so true that we need to remind ourselves to not live in the past nor the future. Today is a gift – the present – and we need to embrace it. Love the photos! They are adorable kids! Thank you for sharing.