Is it so small a thing
To have enjoy’d the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done
— Matthew Arnold
Spring is the time of juicy new beginnings. It is the celebration of hope, the renewal of life, the sweet budding and blossoming of all that is possible. So let’s get juicy!
Did you take some time yesterday to think of twenty things that you used to love when you were a child? To encourage you, I’ll share some of mine:
1. Climbing trees
2. Playing kick the can until after dark
3. Riding my bike
4. Listening to music on my parents’ Hi-Fi (that they won at Bingo). It instilled in me a permanent love for classical music and the love themes of the Jackie Gleason Orchestra. The latter is, I admit, somewhat embarrassing, but true…
5. The smell of apples at my grandmother’s house
6. My teddy bears (one of which I still have, although the music box that was in him is long gone)
7. When my mom and dad would act goofy and romantic (rare, but lovely)
8. Armed Forces Day, when I was allowed to jump from the Airborne Infantry practice platform, and climb around inside the tanks.
9. Helping my grandmother bake, and not only because I got to lick the bowl (but it certainly didn’t hurt!)
10. A Wrinkle in Time, Half-Magic (by Edward Eager), Raggedy Ann and Betsy Bonnet String (by Johnny Gruelle), all the Mary Poppins, Pooh, and Oz books, Nancy Drew, Dr. Seuss, James Thurber, and most anything else I could get my hands on
11. Horses, horses, horses!
12. Mad Magazine
13. My beagle, Happy
14. French toast for breakfast
15. Knowing there were faery friends, elves and leprechauns nearby me, in certain secret places
16. Comic books
17. School (yes, I really did)
18. Summertime in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Troutville, Virginia (where, no matter where we were transferred, except for when we lived on Okinawa, we stayed with my grandparents).
19. Saturday morning movies with hundreds of yelling, laughing kids at the Army base theater.
20. The call of bob-whites and whippoorwills
In trying to think these up, it was interesting to get to about twelve or so, and then get stuck. Yet, my continuing to think of things, although maybe not my ultimate favorites, got me over the hump, and next thing I knew, I didn’t want to stop.
Given half a chance, there are so many times, moments, people, things that I loved when I was a kid: my mother, my grandmother and me, dancing in our petticoats and singing all the songs in Gypsy (Ethel Merman would have been so proud)….Playing Crazy Eights for hours and hours with my friend Carla Trainham (wonder where she is now)…sledding in winter, swimming in summer, Coke floats made by my great-grandmother, the smell of the first day of school…
So I invite you to share your lists, or some of your favorite things. No matter how painful or dysfunctional your young life may have also been, as you get going, I am willing to bet you can find at least twenty jewels that you still hold from your childhood memories.
As we compare and remember, we are tapping into something most magical indeed. For this is the time of Spring, the time of the Maiden (who also brings Her blessings to the young boy before his initiations into the Mysteries of Adolescence). There is ancient power in these rememberings. More about that tomorrow.