As clouds drift by


Sitting at my desk, not doing much of anything but definitely thinking about everything that needs doing I had a flashback to my childhood, the years after moving to Miami when I was 7 years old but before junior high. For just a moment, an instant, I remembered what it was like to lay on the grass at the park and just stare up at the sky. Nowhere to be, nothing pressing, not a care in the world, I could lay on the ground, stare up at the amazing clouds on a summer day and just imagine. No burdens, no responsibilities, no need to rush anywhere, I could just be there, in that moment, appreciating the color of the sky and the shapes of the clouds as they drifted lazily by.

Then I became sad. I even got tears in my eyes because I was so very far from that moment, even the possibility of such a moment. And it was my own fault. Yes, when you are a child other than some homework and a few chores there really aren’t too many pressing responsibilities unless you were living with abuse, homelessness, or some other childhood trauma. But I didn’t have anything like that in my life. Yes, my parents hated one another. Yes, my dad was not around much. But even though those issues were present, were a part of my life, they weren’t a very big part of my life. I had the gift of an imagination. Even if my parents had a fight I could climb a tree and I was far away. If I missed my dad I could open a book and disappear for hours at a time. Even if I felt sad or disappointed I always found something to cheer myself up, most of the time.

But even before the challenges my family faced came to a head and became a divorce I was a carefree, happy, dreamy child who loved to lay in the grass and just stare up at the sky. I loved the cool feeling of the grass on my hands and legs. I loved the smell of the turf and the dirt it was growing in. I loved the warm, Florida sun on my skin.


I am sad that as an adult I have forgotten how to have such moments of carefree sensing and feeling and breathing and dreaming. I am ever sadder thinking about how my kids might be missing out on some of this because of all of the noise of life: tv, computers, cell phones, texting, activities, Facebook, and video games. When do they get to have nothing to do? It is a gift, this nothing happening part of childhood. This lack of events and planning and social connections. Such a gift that I fear this generation is completely missing. I know it is missing in my life.

This leaves me with a choice. I can continue to neglect my inner child or I can find time each week to just be, to feel, to listen, to smell, to experience a moment just because. I hope I remember this feeling of sadness next week and that I do something about it. I hope I find a few minutes to close my eyes and let the sun bathe me in its warmth, even if just for a moment. I hope.


3 responses »

  1. how funny — today we’re both remembering the things we’ve forgotten! but i agree about how bad it is that kids today are never alone with nothing to do. great things can happen then, even if it’s just learning how to be alone with yourself.


  2. That is specifically what kept me alive and going all through my life — I never forgot what it was like to be a carefree kid/dreamer. But nowadays, instead of feeling odd, weird, bizarre, crazy, whatever! about “feeling” this way, about being a dreamer… I’m proud of it. Bless that inner child for not dying on me… and for waiting all these years to finally get a chance to play with me.

    The smell of grass and dirt and all that is around us to smell and see and hear and taste and feel — a wonderful world opens up to us every morning. Halle freakin’ lujah!!!



    • Amen and amen! I guess that is what all of my adventures in photography, cooking, gardening, walking the property do for me. I just don’t let go enough, though, let the inner child out enough. Celebrating being a dreamer with you, Mudd!


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