I look at an old photo of our family, and it sets my wheels-a-turning.
Those thoughts are, in part, remembering. And in part, wondering.
The first photo was taken at our “yearly family Christmas party” at my Aunt Doty’s house. All the cousins, and aunts, and uncles would be there. This was all on my Dad’s side. My Mom was an only child.
Most certainly, we would always look forward to this very grand night. There was always lots of snacking, and dinner, and presents. A grand and mighty gift exchange would ensue. And I am pretty sure the adults mostly drank.
I see a lot of happy moments in that photo. I notice, once again, that Mom had hand-sewn my dress. My sisters’ too. We were always in the same material, but rarely in the same pattern. Mom would switch it up a little bit. Polyester-Chic.
This also reminded me how all the cousins would play. In our designated age-groups. I hung out with Timmy and Steve. Sometimes Shelly. That’s just how we rolled. We would only see each other a few times a year, really. But when we’d get together, we would play like crazy. No boundaries. No judgments. No opinions, or criticisms. We would just play.
As the years passed, of course, we aged. And with that came a revision. We interacted less. We were polite and cordial, but guarded. We were no longer running rampant through the houses of our gatherings, but sitting quietly, sipping our Cokes, and waiting until we could leave and return to our own “everyday” friends. And that is how it went.
At this age, I don’t see my cousins at all. Occasionally on Facebook, and in real-life at the funerals of my Dad, and then my Mom. A cousin too. And that is how it goes. How it all passes.
I wish we humans could keep that little slice of innocence with us. When we would see Mikey, or Bonnie, or Sammy, or Fred, and simply pull up a piece of the floor and start playing with the Candyland Game. Those times, when it didn’t matter how we thought, or who we were. There was not a worry about what they thought of me. We were just a few random kids, who were together at that segment in time, and we made the best of it. And THAT is awareness. That is being in the moment.
Awareness doesn’t involve judgments or preconceptions, or projections. It just plainly IS. There is no reference to the past, or concern for the future. Completely noticing our place. And we are there with that IS. The moment. To experience that moment to the fullest, in all its way, its shape, and its form.
Easier said than done.
I wish I could get some of my kid back.
“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”
― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
“Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh
“Your greatest awakening comes, when you are aware about your infinite nature.”
― Amit Ray