Sometimes I can feel what I’ve forgotten. Hints of a past way of being waft across me like a scent—something I almost recognize, something I know I knew.
It’s there in the spaces of a sparse to-do list. It’s there in silence that goes on a little longer than comfortable. It’s there in the thrill of a new discovery, like some lesser-known history or esoteric idea that’s useless for daily life.
It seems like wisdom is remembering everything we’ve forgotten from childhood. I know there’s more to wisdom; the goal isn’t to become a child, but to retain the best qualities of childhood while developing the strengths adulthood offers. My adult ability to perceive myself more objectively, organize my own life, and balance wonder with work makes searching for what was left behind in my childhood mind possible.
The balance is the challenge.
I want the time to try interpreting a bird’s song. I want to believe I can maybe talk to animals telepathically. I want to hide things I love like a squirrel stashing its treasure. I want to know less and imagine far more.
But I live on adult earth. I work, I cook meals, I exercise, I plan my days and weeks. I drink responsible amounts of coffee, sometimes. I drink healthy amounts of water. I avoid sugar and processed foods. I strive to leave my bed at a time I pre-set. I answer emails, I make phone calls. People give me money and I give people money. I dissect my dreams into actionable steps and plan them out on paper.
I live a responsible, respectable adult life.
As I go through my responsible routine in a respectable way, something shifts within, some subtle unsettledness. I have a vague memory of time moving more slowly, hours that felt open to all the different childhood adventures I could imagine for them. I remember the bushes I’d catch lizards in. I remember mixing dirt, water, and plants together in little pots to see the strange texture of different elements joined together.
I don’t yearn for catching lizards and making mud pies, but I do yearn for aimless adventures.
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