There is this great poet I was turned on to during my stint at community college (which, by the way, had some of the best, most interesting classes I've ever attended) who always struck a chord with me. William Wordsworth.
Never heard of him? Blasphemy! Eh, I hadn't either until his works became my homework. I simply got lucky my professor happened to have great taste in poetry - and I was just bored enough living at home with my parents at the age of 21 that I had the time to read his works. (We'll cover why I was in community college at the age of 21 some other day.)
There's this one ode he writes called Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood that speaks to things in me that I didn't know where there until I read his words. For those of you not dying to read an old English poet in the middle of your Monday - let me give you a run-down. It is essentially a poem about how in his youth, Wordsworth thought life was pretty much magical - but for the life of him can't recapture that same feeling of wonderment now that he's grown older.
My sentiments exactly, William. Most people have to lose their youth before they really regret getting older - yet I have always been painfully aware of the years slipping away, chipping at my childhood. I knew when I was 10 that I never wanted to be 11, and at 20 I was ready to stop the aging process all together.
Don't get me wrong - age has brought things so good I can't believe it. A loving husband, an unparalleled friendship with my mother and a stability and sense of control over my life...yet I find, as Wordsworth found, life has a little less of the rosy glow or innocence it used to have. I have to blame it on being an "adult" - on taking on more stress, more responsibility, and a bigger dose of realism. All things that we're taught are good for us, yet I find I would gladly trade for feeling like the world is full of endless, magical possibilities once again.
But I don't feel without hope. I believe there is a place where age and time will have no hold over us - and each moment will be as rapturous as the innocence of those first years.....Disney World!!!
Just kidding, of course I was talking about heaven - the great beyond - whatever you want to call it. When I'm dead time won't have power over me any longer, and I'll be glad to rid myself of it's curse.
I am an unwilling grown-up. I am waiting for the day I become a child again. I am already dreaming of my next vacation to Disney World.
No picture, rather my favorite line -
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!