It can be really difficult somedays, being an adult. I often feel I could accomplish so much more if I were still a little girl. Of course, this is a typical aspiration for most of us- the irony always being that when we were little, we thought everything we wanted to conquer had to wait until we were adults. But no one tells you that- at some invisible point- the adult you and the child you bypass each other, and the girl full of wonder, courage, steel- the one with the wings on her back- begins the long descent into fear, hesitation, trepidation, and cynicism. Now that is not to say it is as bad as all that. I don't think you wake up one day, a miser... but maybe that is what makes it even worse is that it sneaks up on you.
It is mostly on the inside, this crawl into adulthood. And when you think about it, it really does seem to best manifest itself in the common dimming light metaphor. We become more and more jaded, making more lists, having more responsibilities, getting less and less restful sleep... dimmer and dimmer. Sounds so depressing doesn't it? But this is inevitable. No matter how whimsical or flighty we are- now matter how many "years young". We all have drudging days through the maze of maturity when we would give a lot to still genuinely be the child cartwheeling through the grass on her way to her next olympic floor routine, building her lego model for The Guggenheim's sister museum, or napping in the abandoned, backyard truck shell in hopes of waiting out whatever prey happens to be on her trail.
But in the daily nod we give to our childhood in memoriam, we often overlook the same dimming light mentioned earlier as a tribute to days gone by, instead of acknowledging the glow of what is left over. We miss this light because it isn't as bright, but in not looking twice, don't recognize the smolder it has become.
I was driving with my windows down today and thought about the little red headed girl who was so magical, she could talk to trees. She felt the wind and knew something big was about to happen. She wrangled all of her belongings into the covered wagon in her living room to set out on her great adventure West. I think of her sometimes and miss her- wonder what happened to her. I look at her picture and wonder what she is doing now. And when I look around me, I figure it out.
Sometimes I begin a new adventure everyday. I have packed up my life and moved it into the wild blue yonder more than once. I have gambled with no money. I have put everything on the line. I have leapt with my eyes closed, and still have more tales to tell. Even though there are days it is hard to find her, I still see that little girl when I look hard enough. On my best days I think she is what plays inside of me, telling me to keep going, keep trying, love more, reminding me I have everything. SMOLDERING.
She's still here- deep inside- ready to storm a castle at a moments notice. And while mine may wince a little these days at the thought of every single quilt in the house being strung up across the living room in pursuit of shelter from the elements- you better believe that when my toes start twinkling, the leaves start rustling, and the wind picks up through the open windows... I definitely know that something big is about to happen.
|Me and my sister, circa 1988... or 2011?|