JUMP FIRST. FEAR LATER. Remember the thrill of thinking you could fly? The adventure of going places in your imagination? The joy and abandon of running and jumping and playing hard-without worrying about what “might” happen? … Google Books
I’ve just begun reading this book. Again. I had started it once before but got busy with life, which, ironically, is what the book seeks to save us from.
When I was a child, I remember creating secret passages in my imagination. I remember pretending that the little cubby of space in my closet was a secret world and no one could find me there if they tried. My best friend and I would wander through the woods, pretending to be explorers, Tarzans, hobos, or whatever else struck our fancy. I was lively and full of hope and wonder. I think we all were. But somewhere along the way, many of us lost it. Our lives are no longer the wonder-filled, imaginative, playful ones of our youth. Instead they’ve become realistic, dreary, monotonous, and busy. What happened?
The author of the book describes it this way: “There is, deep within all of us, a voice. It speaks to us continuously, knocking on the door of our consciousness. When we are children, the voice is very loud, shattering our awareness with overwhelming clarity. Its loudness is not like a train or jet engine. It shouts to us with a whisper. It is like the wind breezing through a field of daisies, scattering their petals across the sky into a flower snowstorm… This voice of our childhood is the voice of wonder and amazement, the voice of God, which has always been speaking to us, even before we were born. One sad day, we are aware of an absence… We did not stop hearing God’s voice. Indeed, God keeps on speaking. But our lives become louder. The increasing crescendo of our possessions, the ear-piercing noise of busyness, and the soul-smothering volume of our endless actiity drowned out the still, small voice of God.”
I look at my daughter, I see how she plays, I listen to her stories, and I learn how she thinks, and it makes me long for her curiosity and innocence. She says what she thinks, even if it’s taboo to grownups. She’ll wear a costume in public when it’s not Halloween and her face is lit up with excitement. I can see the joy and the beautiful amazement on her face when she sees a pretty flower, finds a bug, sees the stars, or an animal.
Before my life started to seemingly fall apart when I was about 25-years-old, I still had a hint of this childlike wonder. The spark was dim, but I could still get a glimpse of it now and then. My daughter has helped me to rediscover this wondrous light. She’s helped me to sees things in ways that I’ve not in many years.
How is it that we recapture the wonder? How can we turn our busy, cluttered minds and lives into imaginative, playful, and even risky ones? I’m going to seek to find out.