Take the world lightly and see how easy things become. message on inside of greeting card
His little hand was wrapped tightly around my index finger as we scampered at a toddler-fast clip on our downtown adventure. I don’t want to forget how fun it is to scamper like this, how fun it is to see the world through fresh eyes, how fun it is to feel free and unbridled on an early Saturday morning, this past Saturday morning in Moscow, Idaho as my almost-two-year-old grandson and I explored the waking up world while his sleep-deprived parents enjoyed some much-deserved shuteye. Others also were enjoying the world waking up on this sunny April morning — a man on a bike, a couple sitting outside a breakfast cafe, a young couple pushing a stroller, college students walking in clumps — and each person we passed, each and everyone of them, was an invitation for Viren to do what he loves to do. His hand, the one that was free, would shoot up in the air, and his stubby toddler fingers would open wide. “Hi!!!” he would say. “Hi!!!” he would sing. “Hi, man on a bike!!!” “Hi, baby!!!” “Hi, girl!!!” “Hi, doggy!!!” And then, because he is almost two, and language is sweeping through him and clicking into place at a rate that takes my breath away, he would add a sentence or two, a chortling sentence or two in an English that sometimes sounds like bird call.
And the birds were there, too, the real ones who were singing along with Viren! And the leaves that were unfolding before our eyes! And the tulips that were ready to blossom! And the daffodils already in bloom! I got into it; I began to initiate it. “Hi, Robin in the sky!” “Hi, Rock lying on the ground!” We greeted the world together, and Viren taught me not to discriminate. “Hi, Statue of Girl in window!” “Hi, Bike sitting outside store for bikes!” Viren embraced it all, this downtown world of Moscow, Idaho, embraced it with joyful equanimity. He saw that it was all thrumming and thriving and deserving of an early morning welcome call. My heart was singing as I walked along, attached finger to hand with my exuberant buddy, and I think my buddy’s heart must have been singing as well because our scamper had become a sort of a skip. And by the time we arrived at the town’s small square and the play area that Viren held dear, a trip down the slide was simply the frosting on a morning that already had set our spirits in motion.
When I returned home from my Idaho weekend jaunt, I shared, at my Joy Center yoga sessions, the story of my three-hour Saturday morning adventure with grandson, Viren. And in the midst of the Tuesday class, as we were making our way into table pose, a friend piped up that she, too, had enjoyed a fun-filled weekend, an afternoon walk on Marquette’s shoreline path, an Easter dinner with new friends, and a Friday evening dancing at Marquette’s Ore Dock. “The bands were awesome!” she exclaimed. “Two women had painted themselves in colorful paint! Men were wearing wild hats!” And it was there in her sharing, the same enthusiastic shooting up of a hand, the same exuberant”Hi!!!”. It’s open to us all, this invitation to remember our sense of wonder, this encouragement to let loose with toddler glee. And I admit that it is easy to sing out a chortle-filled “Hi!!!” when holding the hand of an adorable little person who is also singing out a chortle-filled “Hi!!!” Somehow that toddler-hand-holding is a safety net. And yet, I find myself free-flying, too, reveling in my own ability to shout out a “Hi!!!” to this world.
Yesterday, the sun was shining and the temperature rose up into Upper Peninsula shirt-sleeve weather and I couldn’t help it. I drove my car up County Road 510 to the high ground and the corn snow, and I snapped on my skate-skis and, for one last time this season, I pushed off on that corn-snow surface and I skated my way up and down those wild hills of the Upper Noquemenon Trail. And a few minutes into that one-hour afternoon ski as I pushed and panted my way up the first steep incline, I found myself saying it, “Hi, Coyote Tracks in the melting snow!!!” “Hi, Balsam Tree that is beginning to smell!!!” “Hi, Sun that is warming my face and soaking into my bare arms!!!” “Hi, Running Water that is reminding me that spring has indeed sprung!!!” I found myself lifted up by the warm wind, even as I sunk down at times into the caved-in snow. I found myself thanking the day. I found myself thanking the toddler, too, who I hold dear, the little guy who is always reminding me to thank the day.
Happy spring everyone! And come play with us at Joy Center!!!