I have often been accused of having never grown up… and I am not only OK with that observation, but secretly pretty proud of it. I liked this image of the little children playing as I saw so much of me in it. And how much I wanted to join in their game of toy boats in the fountain. What a terrible shame it is that as an almost 46 year old woman, it is socially unacceptable for me to make paper boats and float them in a fountain in a major capital city. What is wrong with us as a society that we can’t just do the things that make our hearts sing with joy…. so long as they are not harming another, I seriously don’t see the problem.
Growing up should most definitely be “optional”. I met a taxi driver the other day, who, at 60 years of age, had the most infectious, “child-like” smile. He was such a happy person. We had a grand chat on our very brief encounter. But even though we met for only a few minutes, the impression he left me with will never leave me. He talked about having fun, and water balloon fights with the family, and laughing so hard it hurt. It was like meeting a 10 year old, who just happened to be living in a 60 year olds body. I just can’t think of that man and not smile inside.
So when I get accused of having never grown up… I hope that I can leave a little of the same kind of impression on people as that taxi driver did for me. I do know that not everyone appreciates my silly sense of humour. And there are those who think that I should “act my age”. But tell me this… who is it that decides what “acting my age” should look like. In my heart I am young, and carefree, and ever so slightly silly. I have the same sense of awe and wonder and lust for adventure that I did when I was 10. The packaging on the outside may have withered and declined. I may not be as nibble, or as agile. Or I may not climb as many trees, or jump as many fences (although with my photography, you wouldn’t believe some of the places I am willing to crawl into, onto, over and through, for a good shot). On the inside I feel no different. I still want to play, and create, and image and dream.
And just as these little children were so engrossed in their game of boats, that they were oblivious to the world around them. Judging eyes and critical minds could not touch their sense of wonder and enjoyment. So too do I wish to live by their wisest of examples. Following my heart wherever possible. Dreaming at every opportunity. Creating and imagining and “playing out” the infinite possibilities. I could never believe that I incarnated into this life to be boring, to be sensible, mature, to be seen but not heard. Sure there is a time to do what is “right” and what is expected. But more often than not there is a time to reach for the stars. To touch the heart of the child that is still very much inside you, just waiting… wishing.. for the opportunity to be let out to play. To once again feel the sunshine on their faces and the lifeblood returning to their souls.
What shall we play today?