Sunday, April 15, 2007

child heart

"The great man is he that does not lose his child's heart.” Menius
“Bang! Stick ‘em up mummy. Bang! Bang!”

But instead of raising her arms in the air, her mother took a photograph. This child never had to be told to smile for the camera—her eyes twinkled mischievously and she laughed every day, brimming with an abundance of love and compassion, hope and wonder, joy and curiosity.

She had not a fear in the world. She knew she was loved. Knew she was safe. Knew she was precious. And she reciprocated.

She adored her mom. Worshipped her dad. And kissed and cuddled and dressed My Lady in discarded baby clothes, far beyond the tolerance of most long-suffering rescue dogs.

She had a brother two years her junior. His special name was Coco and she loved to squeeze his coco-puff cheeks and kiss his pursed red lips, never quite sure if he was trying to cuddle her back, or push her away.

And now—after spending a week with her cousins—she'd come home to a brand new baby sister.

She couldn’t pronounce the baby's name, but slapped her hands tight against her own cheeks and gasped "Pretty pretty Kaya,” as they met for the first time. She snuggled into Kaya's neck, sniffing her baby-smell, and gently slid her small hands under baby's shoulders to lift her from the cot.  Her mother reached over and whispered “Let’s go outside and play while baby sleeps.”

Straightening her Sheriff’s hat, she raced downstairs and into the yard.

She couldn’t wait until her brother could run—then she’d have had a real bad cowboy to chase! (No way was she giving up her Sheriff’s badge.) And when her sister was big enough to climb on the shiny, black wooden pony that daddy had carved, she’d make her a deputy. That would make the new baby feel special. She smiled and her tummy tickled and tickled inside.  Nanny said those were butterflies, and she had a belly full, fluttering and dancing around. Life could get no better …

“Bang. Bang. Stick ‘em up mummy. Bang. Bang.”
 ~ ~
Like an ever-burning flame, the essence of who we are flickers within us forever. It may get blown around a little. Or quiver for a while. It may feel dampened—weighed down by this journey called life. We may be brought to our knees by the cruel grip of grief, or the crushing black pain of betrayal and heartbreak. Our very essence may feel scorched. Blistered and damaged beyond repair. The flame gone. Burned out.

But it’s not.

No matter how small, or how dim, the spark is always there. Smoldering eternal.

When we are weary or fearful, confused, or tearful, we need to be still. We need to look deep inside ourselves and nurture the ember, rekindling the unique and wondrous essence that we each brought with us into the world. We need to refuel. To reconnect with the earth. To tease the flame. Gently. Gently. Until it glows. Until the ember grows strong. Until it once again flames. Not so that we can be who we once were—but so that we can become, so much more.

"For it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart. " John Bunyan.


Pamela said...

I'm thinking I'd like to go back in time... when it didn't take quite as much kindling to make the flame burn.

loved how you brought your story into the life lesson

Becca said...

Thanks for this reminder~I've been needing to connect with my inner flame in a big way lately! I think I'd nearly forgotten it was there :)

I loved the photo, and it instantly brought to mind an old black and white of myself at about age 2, reaching up to unlock our backyard gate and let myself into the wide world. I'm always excited for myself in that picture, about to venture out on my own into new experiences.

dinahmow said...

A lovely and gentle reminder for us all, Vicki.Thankyou.

Ant said...

A lovely post - my inner flame isn't going anywhere. Dirty jokes and belly-laughs are the order of the day now, just as they were back then, and just as they will be right before I cark it as an old man of 108... :o)

Cazzie!!! said...

Wonderful post, lovely words.

Ian Lidster said...

That was both touching and very wise, Vicki. Brightened my day and made me do a bit of self-appraisal. Not a bad thing. Have a good Sunday.

Bibi said...

Pamela, LOL...sometimes it does take a little more kindling, but it's worth it!

Becca, yes, isn't the world full of adventure when you're tiny. I still think it is.

Dinahhmow, you are welcome and thank you right back.

Ant, good for you. Then according to Menius, that means you are a great man, right?

Cazzie, glad you enjoyed. ;-)

Ian,yes, a little self-eval defintely helps keep us grounded in this crazy world. Enjoy the week ahead.

Kiyotoe said...

As usual, words for me to apply to my life IMMEDIATELY.

thanks for the reminder that somewhere beneath all of the crud that's weighing me down, that pilot light" is still lit. It's easy to forget sometimes.

Frank Baron said...

Very nice and very true. (Isn't it great when they mesh?)

Being still is one of the appeals fishing has for me.

Anonymous said...

Oh Bibi, what a heart warming story and valuable life lesson.

You are right. There are times when it feels as though that light is all but gone, but your story is about hope and sometimes that's all we need.

Anonymous said...

Oh Bibi, what a heart warming story and valuable life lesson.

You are right. There are times when it feels as though that light is all but gone, but your story is about hope and sometimes that's all we need.

Anonymous said...

Oh Bibi, what a heart warming story and valuable life lesson.

You are right. There are times when it feels as though that light is all but gone, but your story is about hope and sometimes that's all we need.

Ces Adorio said...

This is beautiful and I am glad to start my day with this inspiration. Thanks Bibi!

Bibi said...

Kiyotoe, get that pilot light flaring. ;-)

Frank, it is great when they mesh. And fishing is a great way to regroup...I've spent many hours w. my father and brother and stresses just peel away.

Pete, thank you ... hope is good. (triggerfinger?) ;-)

Ces, enjoy the rest of your day!!

kj said...

ok, bibi, i feel as though i have just had dinner with a good friend and in the process was given a loosely wrapped gift of stardust confidence and a tightly steadied hand on my shoulder.

this post is very moving and very well written. that little girl is very lucky. the little girl that was/is me had a family like this also.

i'm glad to know you, bibi...

Bibi said...

Oh, bless you kj. What a truly wonderful thing to say ... I appreciate your input and am glad to know you too.

Cazzie!!! said...

My hubby and I tuned into your radio station through ITunes last night, we have set it to favourites too :)

Bibi said...

Cazzie, wow! I'll be back later in the year and will let you know when and where! ;-)

Anonymous said...

What a luverrrrly story

I know few who've lost that childheart and have become bitterrrrr and jaaaaaded.

Glad I stopped by for a little lift. Cheers! =:)

Anonymous said...

Stick em up Bibi. This was so cute - and truly inspiring.

Keshi said...

This is such a wonderful post Bibi! Never lose the kid in us. So true!


Michelle O'Neil said...

So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

visiting from ces's blog. wonderful photo and post; beautiful.