little feet, silly truths

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The puddle swallowed his little feet, and then exploded away as his next step was taken in earnest.  The splashing wasn’t intentional but the running was.  He was always running.  Running from one end of the house to the other.  Running down the alley behind our condo.  Running from the store to the car.  Running in the rain where he encountered pools of the heaven’s manna waiting patiently for him.

Then, of course, it was no longer about running, at least for a few minutes.  Water gushed and spouted and pulled away from him by the combined forces of pressure and momentum.  He didn’t care about the science of why jumping in the puddle caused the water to spray out in halos and arcs.  He only cared that it happened and that he was in control.  There are so few things in a toddler’s life they can control, he latched on to this new game, this new experience, with all of his might and enthusiasm.

Eyes wide with glee and mouth full of joyful shrieks and exclamations, time thinned while the toddler explored the cause and effect of his discovery.  One foot at a time.  Both feet together.  Running through.  Walking through.  Stopping in the middle.  Jumping into the middle.  Jumping on the edge.  Twirling around.  Behind those shimmering pupils, I could see his mind capturing it all and storing it away for further contemplation later when he would have time because he was no longer fully engrossed in the here and now.  And, of course, I laughed along with him, joined my voice with his in a chorus of giggles and guffaws.  The laugh of a child would always be the paramount of compulsory contagions.

Clothes, unprepared for the onslaught, were drenched in no time.  After a while, equal amounts of water dripped from dangling sleeves and bent knees as was sent cascading around him with each new foray into the puddle.  The wetness would eventually be the cause of the game’s end, in the forms of coldness and discomfort, but until then the grin would never waver on his eager face.  Just as I couldn’t help but join him in laughter, he was powerless to resist the demanding call of adventure.

Even if he could have, why would he have wanted to?  Children are built to learn and discover through such bouts of messy frivolity.  They know this simple truth in their bones.

…..

This post was written for Lizzi.  I accepted the challenge to write beautifully without pouring my blood across the page, sharing something worth sharing, worth reading, that wasn’t about pain or loss.  As she says in her posts, which you really should read, those types of words are compelling and worth reading, but we should also remember to share our happy moments and our silly truths from time to time as well.

endless

Giggles bubble and bounce,
In time with my heart’s pulsing beat,
And the sound echoes from wall to wall,
Like a smile in search of a treat.

Beware the laughter’s pounce,
The toddler seeks to catch you unaware,
And, like an egg, have you fall, you will fall,
But in the joy you will not care.

Contagious chortles will trounce,
All plans for the day laid to waste in a pile,
Of toys, and at least one ball, there’s always a ball,
And the chaos will hit eleven on the dial.

Prepare to give away every ounce,
And then even more, of your time and energy,
When the child starts to call and call,
For all that endless playful reverie.

Jesterly Challenge Month – November 4th

Princess Rosebud asked me to list the ten (or hundred) best things about being a father to a little boy.  I settled on 18.  It seemed like a good number at the time.  Anyway, give it a read and let me know how I did in the comments.

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In no particular order:

  1. Giggles
  2. Little boy hugs and smooches
  3. All those squirrels
  4. Snuggles while reading books
  5. Being told, “I love you” out of the blue
  6. The wild swings, from a miniature to grandiose scale and back again, of the saying: never a dull moment
  7. Imaginative playtime
  8. Parrot mode
  9. Helper mode
  10. The random moments of song
  11. The unexpected insights and moments of brilliance
  12. Silly mode
  13. The dimples
  14. Mischievous blue eyes sparkling with a million sunsets reflecting off the surf
  15. Thud
  16. The fearlessness
  17. Unbiased and unfiltered joy at new discoveries
  18. Seeing the world untouched by my own jaded view

a moment of brilliance

 photo paris_zps402b2b52.jpgcredit: Trey Ratcliff

Life had been unexpectedly more hectic than usual for Henry recently.  Troubles at home and at work had kept him on edge far more than he was used to.  He found himself irritable, frustrated, and tired for the first time in years.  The days were snap shot blurs where he bounced between going through the motions and scrambling to stay solvent.  Things were moving too fast and too slow at the same time.  The nights were worse, as he spent the dark hours awake churning over the missteps of the current day and the demands of those that followed.

So, when he found himself wandering near the Eiffel Tower on his walk home from work and happened upon a pocket garden he had never seen before, Henry was stunned to find himself stopping, admiring, breathing in the moment and forgetting about his cares and concerns.  He was even more surprised when he took off his loafers to let his feet taste the grass.  They enjoyed the experience so much they convinced the rest of him to lay on the grass too.

Above the tower rose towards the clouds.  The sun pierced through the lazy drifting puffs of white and poured into the garden.  The vibrant purples and reds of the flowers at his feet, Earth’s beautiful artistic creations, stood out clearly against the backdrop of Eiffel’s beautiful artistic creation.  Though man and nature seldom work well together, the scene for Henry that afternoon was perfect.  It was bliss.  It was the moment of relaxation and recuperation he needed.

As the sun slid behind the foliage at the edge of the garden, Henry rose and replaced his shoes and then continued on his journey towards home.  His struggles were not over, but the moment he had taken for himself, to enjoy the beauty of the world, was enough to carry him forward with renewed purpose.  He had the knowledge that there was more to life than turmoil and strife.  He had the understanding that even in the darkest times there could be moments of joy if he would take the time to pick his head up and look for them.

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Written in response to this week’s Picture Writing Prompt provided by moi.

What do you see?  Write it, link it, post it!

the alarm

The day was dreary, gloomy and overcast,
The darkness pulled my thoughts to the past,
Where life’s joys and triumphs had happened all too fast,
And my memories were faded, because nothing ever lasts.

…..

The alarm clock droned in my ear.

Sometimes it was piercing, sometimes I couldn’t hear it at all, and sometimes I was in a dreamy state where I knew it was going off and I should turn it off but it was mellow, muted, and so I felt no great sense of urgency to deal with it.  It was one of those mornings.

Still it droned on.

I cracked open my eyes, a sliver, to see how much light was pouring through the gaps in the blinds and was pleasantly surprised that I could open them without daylight frying my retinas and the sharp pain that always accompanied that.  Sadly, that wasn’t really a good thing as it meant the morning was once again overcast.

I hadn’t seen the sun in several days and it was starting to effect me.  I didn’t have seasonal affective disorder, but I had found that the longer I went without seeing the sun the lousier I felt, the more despondent I became.  The harder it was to talk myself out of bed and head to the job I dreaded.

The alarm continued to beep away.  I was aware of it but still felt no urge to silence it.

I turned my head away from the blinds and opened my eyes fully to stare up at the ceiling.  I knew I needed to get up and get started with my day, it was going to be another busy one, but I didn’t yet have enough control over my body to make it do my bidding.  My mind knew what it should do, my body had the capacity to follow those instructions, but they weren’t yet communicating as they normally would.

The overhead ceiling fan stood motionless.  The May grey and June gloom hadn’t given way to the hot summer nights and the fan hadn’t yet been called into action.  The room around me lightened as the sun, though its influence was filtered by the clouds and marine layer, rose higher into the sky.  Time was ticking away faster than I was aware of.

The alarm droned on.

My thoughts, as my mind and body continued to wake up and try to interact properly, fled to the past, when I wouldn’t have had to worry about getting up at a certain time, when I didn’t have a job, and responsibilities, and the pressure of having people depend on me.  I often fantasized about the freedom of youth.  I glorified it.  I romanticized it.  I held it in high regard as the penultimate experience of my life: my days were filled with only the activities I wanted them to be filled with.

Games, shenanigans, adventures all ruled the day.  I had the time and energy to explore when and where I wanted.  I could sleep away the mornings and the afternoons if I felt like it.  I could stay awake long into the night and watch the movies I wasn’t supposed to… or, that I learned later, weren’t all that great anyway and shouldn’t have wasted my time with.  But, that was the point – I had the ability to waste time without repercussions.  Isn’t that one of the often neglected but finest definitions of freedom?

But those days were only the penultimate experience of life.  Fully awake, fully in control again, I smiled.  Sure, I had to get up and go to a job I didn’t enjoy.  Sure, I had responsibilities and pressure and stress and hours of my life I wasn’t the “owner” of anymore.  Sure, I rarely found time do to the things that used to define who I was.

Having those responsibilities, though, afforded me the opportunities to grow into the man I became, to marry the wonderful woman who agreed to share her life with me, to adopt the two cats who always make me smile, and to have the family I had always wanted and constantly brought me unparalleled joy.

I turned the alarm off and got out of bed.

The alarm meant that I had to return to being a responsible adult, but there was also a silver lining to it.  It meant that the sooner I could get my work for the day done, the sooner I could be home again and spend time with my loved ones.

…..

The day was overcast, gloomy and dreary,
But the darkness was there to help me see,
Life always happens exactly as it is meant to be,
And the joys of today shine through it all brilliantly.

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Rara has prompted me again:

for the promptless, forthepromptless, prompts for the promptless

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

“Silver Lining” is a prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation.  [1870-75; from the proverb “Every cloud has a silver lining”] *

* Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.