Sunday, July 7, 2013

Down the Mountain

There are a lot of leftover forts and hiding spots on the mountain behind my house. Sacred places that used to be haven for imaginary elves and native tribal rituals. 

But they say there comes a time when we have to put childish things aside. 

I suppose there also comes a time when we have to leave childish people behind.

And sometimes there comes a time when we have to become more like children in order to get by.

I've heard more than a few 'good ol' days' remarks made by friends lately, lamenting how life was 'so much simpler when all you worried about was whether or not you would get to use your favorite crayon that day.'

As idyllic as this thought is, it is also useless. We can languish in thoughts of what used-to-be until the proverbial cows come home, but it does not for a second change the fact that yesterday is gone like the mosquito I just killed on my laptop, today is outrunning us like a sinewy triathlete  and tomorrow is coming at us like a derailed subway car.

Not to imply that I'm worried about the future.

Which I definitely am.

But we could sit and worry about the future just as much as we regret letting our childhood slip by. And I reiterate: nothing will change.

There's always another approach though. A glass half-full outlook, if you will.

We can retain some of the childlike wonder we used to possess. Try being like a kid for a day, a week, however long it takes to get a spark of joy in your life. 

Because life is far to short to waste being unhappy or worrying about becoming unhappy (which in my mind, is the same exact thing).

Redevelop ye old elementary school mindset. If someone doesn't appreciate you or hurts you, leave those suckers by the swing-set  and go make yourself some new friends. 

If someone is funny, tell them they are and laugh at their jokes in a big ridiculous way (someone who thinks they're too cool to laugh big is actually just super lame). 

Do the thing you dream of. (Bonus of being an adult now? We can travel, we can cook, we can drive, we can read, we can design, we can do the big things, anything is possible: if we stop saying we can't and start running headlong towards adventure).

Boys have cooties. (I find this is just a helpful thing to keep in mind at all times.)

Pick flowers, smell the rain, get sunburnt, eat popsicles, catch a bug, steal an apple, dig in the dirt, play dressup. These things don't have to be left behind and just looked back on. We can still live in bliss in the here and now. It might be a little bit harder and a little bit scarier, but trust me, it's a lot less scary than sitting afraid in your house all day because you just can't face someone or something about your day.

Believe me, living in regret doesn't hurt anyone you hope it'll hurt.

It just makes you look like an old lady sitting in a burning house who can only complain about how darn hot it is and how bad it smells.

Put the fire out and use the ashes to make something new grow.

We can be grateful for those moments that we have that make us roll with laughter, or collapse in tears. Because those are the moments that let us know that our hearts still pump blood through our veins and our lungs rush with air.

We are miraculous, and we are more capable than we could even imagine.

And even though we may no longer build forts, there is no reason we have to come down from the mountain.



PS: Here's a poem tidbit for you all:

Dusk in Idaho

It’s that moment, when crimson fingers of sunlight
give final blessings to the peaks that reign
over the tiny, barely a town
that is Pinehurst.

It’s that feeling, of saw grass cuts on shins and palms,
gifts from the Earth from crawling through meadows
that are really just that vacant lot where
a shiny new house now sits.

It’s that smell, of evergreens dipped in rainwater
until they look just right. Of breezes wearing
the scent of cottonwood like a shawl
crocheted in summer.

It’s that longing, to have seen what woodland creature
created trembling rings in that pond, if
I had been just a little bit faster, or
just a little bit quieter.

It’s those seconds, in between the final performance of sunlight
and the opening act of stars, when wandering too far
awakens imaginary creatures that chase me
or thoughts of supper lead me