Friday, June 1, 2018

Puddles and Gratitude

You can’t love the rain without getting wet
Watching a young child discover rain for the first time, is not something you’re likely to forget. It’s wondrous to behold! The child’s whole body vibrates like a plucked string, dancing amidst nature's greatest symphony. Joy mounts as the soft pitter-patter progresses towards a torrential crescendo and the busy world comes to a halt. An onlooker can’t help but meet this wonderfully, wet experience with a corresponding levity. The moment, in and of itself, is complete. There are no thoughts of umbrellas or rain gear, no concern about wet hair or how the weather might affect our plans. Nope. Children give themselves entirely to the experience. 
As consummate adults, all too often we call them indoors and out of the mud, expounding the dangers of catching a cold or worrying over soiled clothes and muddy floors. But when we suspend our reflex to “grow-up” and choose to linger beside them, something magical happens! It’s as if a door opens amidst our carefully constructed world, and we slip, unnoticed, back into the landscape of childhood, where mud puddles demand to be SPLASHED and butterflies beg to be chased. Childhood isn’t a stage after all but a quality inherent in each of us. 
As summer arrives, the final days of school are bittersweet.  I’m excited for the horizons that lay ahead and I’m also saying farewell to many children I’ve known for years. Some will be back in August and others will be moving on to a new adventure. I am grateful for every one of them and the countless times they have opened that door onto a state of wonder. When I say the children are among my greatest teachers, I mean it. They remind me that life is meant to be lived, for the sheer joy of living it. It doesn’t need to be bigger or better or layered with purpose. They remind me not to hesitate when I see a puddle, but to spring off both feet, disregarding the concerned looks of those around me, and SPLASH.
As I celebrate their new horizons, I will miss their daily reminders to revel in the moment. The fact is that I have the greatest job on the planet! Hands down.
Thanks to each of you for another great year. For all of your support and generosity! I hope you have a remarkable summer replete with opportunities to slip, however briefly, into the remembered world of childhood and when you see the next puddle, let loose and JUMP!

For a huge smile watch this youtube clip: