Babies On The Beach
We just took a trip to Charleston on the South Carolina coast, spending several days on the beach at Sullivan’s Island.
And if you get there around mid-morning, there are lots of little ones on the beach … from tiny babies to toddlers.
It’s really the highlight of a day on the beach to watch them in their little bathing suits with their pudgy arms and legs and sunhats.
The ones who have just started walking … and running … are the most fun.
They’ll toddle up up to the surf, take a step or two into the water, dance around on tiptoe a little bit, squealing, and then run back to the safety of the sand … only to do it again and again and again.
To a baby, everything on the beach is new and special … and wonderful.
The sand. It’s good to grab handfuls and throw them wherever. The water. It’s good to run in and sit in and splash with your hands. The birds. They’re funny. You can chase them if you’re big enough. And nobody cares all that much if you make a total mess of yourself. It’s expected. Mom and Dad let you do just about anything at the beach, as long as it’s safe. And they’re always there just in case. Sometimes they swing your legs in the water or goof around with you. What fun.
Of course, if you want to see the little ones, you have to get there before early afternoon, ‘cause that’s nap time, and one by one they get carried back to the car, exhausted from all the adventure and all the exercise.
The beach is wonderful to a baby. And they’re full of wonder … at the simplest things, things you and I mostly take for granted, things we’re so familiar with we hardly even notice them.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to recapture that sense of wonder? Wouldn’t it be great to see this wondrous world with fresh newborn eyes? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the simplest things make you squeal with delight?
Yeah, it would. And you know what? That little kid never goes away. S/he just gets subsumed into the adult personality, hidden, but not lost.
All it takes to reconnect is to forget.
Forget what you think you know. Let go of all the categories and rules and complex calculations and just look and listen and feel.
Look at the miracle that is your hand. Spend time just watching and listening to water as it ripples. Hear and feel the purr of the kitten.
These things are elemental and wonder-full. The world is full of wonders.
Just forget. Forget you’re a responsible adult with work to do and a schedule to keep. Forget, and let the baby out to play.
Let the baby out to play in a world where everything is new and special … and wonderful.
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