Do you remember that first kiss? The first time you saw an ocean, a waterfall, or snow? The list is long of all the things you've seen for the first time in your life. Do you ever think about those times and reflect on the feeling you had when beauty unfolded before you? Do you ever think about the child within you? The unbridled happiness, inner peace, a type of blissfulness we try to re-capture our whole life.
I've sat on mountain tops, beaches, even climbed trees to ponder just that question. I think the only answer is that when we are young we are not beset by the stress of all the achievements, defeats, and responsibilities that define whom we are today. When we are young we live in a bubble that knows no boundary. We live in the moment, able to focus on the simple importance of discovery without limitations. Our world (when we are young) lives in a fantasy with no doors or windows. No one can peer into that very special space within our mind which isn't afraid to honor our imagination.
I remember my report cards and the written comments by my teachers, when I was in elementary school. It's funny because many of my friends had the same comments written about their ability to focus and listen to their teachers:
"Jack (or fill in the blank with your name) could do better if he wasn't staring out the window missing valuable lesson instructions." I'm paraphrasing of course but you get the message. At that moment in time I was more focused on the bird I was watching outside the window, or perhaps the squirrel making it's way to its nest. Whatever it was, my attention wasn't grabbed by the droning on of a teacher eyeing the recess bell as closely as I was.
That certainly was a magical sound during my young life... the recess bell. I would become a world class sprinter making my way to the playground to participate in a myriad of sports, archaic by todays standards, but ones that truly defined our physical activity. Prison ball, soft ball, kick ball, four-square, jump rope (mainly for girls), hop scotch (mainly for girls) and tether ball.
Those were the carefree days of discovery that live in our memories forever. Our old friends we haven't seen since those days and the important experiences shared with them we will never forget. Then, somewhere along the way some of those experiences became our last.
But before they became our last we tangoed on the edge, dangling off the road, without a compass to bring us back to our comfort zone. We made it back much richer for the experience with the understanding "That's how legends are born."
What is the benefit, to go for it without a net, believing that the journey is the reward? And yet when that enriched timeless event becomes something you will never forget... how much is that worth?
Do you remember the last time you went sailing, did an exhaustive climb, played racquetball, or ventured outside of your comfort zone to places you've always dreamed of seeing? Are those trips in the back of your mind you've been putting off only irritations dismissed with some excuse? Or, is it now, in this moment, our time to have an epiphany? In our twilight years it is time to make new friends, go to new places, and reach new heights of discovery. Because... within the realm of discovery and change we can unharness the possibilities we deserve.
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