The Indefatigable Spirit of a Child

Indefatigable Spirit

”There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

~Zen Proverb

It is a gray drizzly morning in a week of gray drizzly mornings. I am content to wait in the car as my husband peruses the home improvement store. People enter and leave the warehouse building, trudging to their vehicles with packages and looks of determination to complete projects.

Out from the wide doors bursts a toddling two-year-old boy, followed by a man in his late 20s. The toddler’s being shines with a smile as he looks up at the sky and lets the rain fall onto his face. Little Guy giggles, claps his hands and twirls around, staying close to his father.

Little Guy and his dad walk over to the SUV next to me. The man opens the passenger-side rear door. The floor of the truck comes to Little Guy’s shoulders.

”Get on in,” his dad says. ”Climb on up.”

With a grin, Little Guy pulls himself up with his arms and begins the ascent into his car seat. Little Guy kicks his foot to the side, maneuvering his way through the door and into his seat. Little grunts of exertion come through my window. Quite a feat. A couple of 5.10 climbing moves in seconds.

Little Guy reaches over his head, pulls the restraint device down and snaps in the buckle. His father checks the fastener and tells Little Guy, ”Good job, son,” and shuts the door.

Little Guy is snug in his car seat, glowing with satisfaction. Little Guy waves to me. I smile at him and think, ”Little Guy’s in his car seat. All’s right with the world.”

We are amazing. Us. Human beings.

Each of us is born into a time and place that has never been traveled the way we are traveling it. We are born with eagerness and a built-in desire to meet our challenges.

If we are as lucky as Little Guy, we have parents and a community who provide an emotionally stable foundation for us where we can feel safe enough to meet our challenges. Safe enough to climb into a car opening that is almost over our head, into a vehicle almost four times as tall as we are, to reach back and pull a harness over our heads. And be cheerful as we do it.

The natural state of the child and of the human being is joy. Work and problem solving are the natural activities of the human being. We are designed to be joyful adventurers. How easy it is to forget!

We need to nurture the natural spirit of the child in each of us, child and adult, so that we find bliss in our gray days; so that we discover delight in the rain in our lives; so that we become the sunshine for others.

We were born to be happy. Allow a child to show the way.

connecting with children

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