—The Monkey Balloon, August 2013
“A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon… It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
Man is born with something beautiful and precious—an innocence and wonder of the world that connects us intimately with our Heavenly Father—which slips away the more we become inhabitants of this world rather than curious sojourners.
Throughout history, it has been assumed that children have not learned or experienced enough to judge the world accurately. This stigma is slowly softening because people are beginning to realize the wonders that can be learned from children. They were born with these wonders and will slowly lose them unless they hang on tightly and remember. But as adults who have forgotten of the wonders that were instilled in us from infancy, we have a portal of access through children. Thoreau said, “I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.”
The sight of the first snowfall.
The first feeling of the warmth of spring.
The experience and sound of an “anthemic” song.
The smell of a campfire through the car window.
The sound of the radio.
Some moments may still trigger this infancy of incredibility for adults—infinitely more if we pay attention and look for them.