“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.”
There’s a word for that feeling you get, the one that takes your breath away.
I’m sure you know what I speak of. When you enter a sphere of pure engagement, in love with the moment. When you’re completely still and you can feel your heart rise in your chest.
Time is no longer a construct. All there is, is. You’ve spun gold, and you’re holding a dream.
This is awe.
This is what life is truly about. But, where is this life?
You’ve already lived it. We all have.
Once I traveled between the boundaries of my known world. From one end of the neighborhood to the other. Its borders were the pillars of Hercules, and I lived among the Gods. But my Gods were the birds and the rain. The mythic horse was my bicycle, and a set of binoculars; my magic glasses.
I never knew a place as sweet, and probably never will.
This place was my earthly palace, alive with new sounds, untraveled paths and hidden wonders that a boy would readily call heaven if he new how to compare them. But then, we’ve all known heaven. Our eternal home—forgotten.
This is why we live.
And I lived with a strong heart. My brow naturally furrowed by the sun, my hands painted with earthen mud. My shoes scuffed and torn. The world kept its distance from me, because it knew my power; a power we all held.
Once, we were all more powerful than the world, as balanced as the tide in its crash and calm, perfectly complemented by wind and moon.
We were the stars, the brightest of suns, and everything revolved around us.
Childhood is the universe manifest, creation in motion. It is birth and life, living without ambient noise. Only the forever string of moments exists, revolving around us, no past, no future. And we are engaged in the present, one with life.
But this power fades quickly, and we vanish with it—a vapor ripped apart by worldly winds.
We all leave our neighborhoods. We pass beyond the pillars and lose touch with our childhood Gods. We find knowledge, carnal desire and pleasure. We find a new form of life waiting beyond our borders and its call is loud, nearly deafening.
But in those moments lingering in our hearts we will always find that place where home calls to us. And call, it will.
We are all traveling home, continuously shifting our feet, conscious of our trajectory in the deepest part of our soul. We all know the destination and we all know why we travel, but as we forget our childhood, we also forget the way.
We grow up, and we outgrow our palace.
The pillars fade far behind us, blending with the desert of the real world. But we are determined to travel.
As a magnet to iron we are compelled to conquer new lands and realize the truth of the world, to master life and to leave our hefty boot upon the Earth. All the while, the haze of life lofts high above our heads, encircling us as buzzards would a carcass.
For it’s only a short time until our bones are picked clean, and the world has its fill.
But let us not forget our palace grounds.
Let us not misremember our haunts, those sacred places that once housed the first trees we ever climbed, the first fence we ever hopped, or the warm days long ago when we figured out how to skip a stone across the hidden pond; the one we were forbidden to visit by ourselves.
Be sure, we all will revisit these places.
And if we cannot lay our hands upon them physically, perhaps we all will in spirit. For they are as alive as we, holding a power that we’ve all left behind, and it still lives there, still waiting for the day when we return to pick up our wooden scepter, that first crooked stick we etched with a sharpened rock, or a knife we stole from our father.
Life was always meant to be lived. And back then, we lived well. Far better than we ever have since.
We woke each day with tenacity and vigor, hungry to see the sun high above, dreaming of running wild through the tallgrass, begging to find a hidden treasure. We ran between our pillars and back, living, not worrying, not yet pressed between the world’s hands.
We were free. We were all free.
Free like the Gods.
Free, like the birds and the rain.