Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time to Begin


“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable 
nor does the genius or the madman.  
 It’s only you and I with our big brains and our tiny hearts, 
who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”   
—Steven Pressfield, Do The Work

My baby sister was born when I was eight years old.  It was at that age I became aware of the fact that there were babies inside their mother’s tummy that came out as complete human beings with fingers and toes, even down to miniscule fingernails and toenails. 

But just as mystifying to me were those who were older than me like teenagers and old people like my parents, really old people like my grandparents and really, really old  people like my great grandparents.   


Photo by Kristin N. Bailey © 2011
How did this happen, I wondered?  How did babies get in their mother’s tummy and how did people grow to be as old as Papaw White?  The answer was obvious to me. It came in a flash of insight so clear and true and pure.  People grow up to a certain age and then grew back down even to the point of being in their mother’s tummy and were reborn. 

“Grandma, when I grow down I still want to sing songs like Baby Ne-Ne,” I said. 

“Um, hmm,” she said.  She was peeling potatoes, a job that always seemed to require concentration of the utmost importance. 

“Maybe when I grow up, I’ll learn to peel potatoes.”

“Peeling potatoes is easy, its singing like a sweet baby that’s hard.  I can’t help you with singing. Lord knows I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. But I can help you with peeling potatoes.  Here, give me your hand and I’ll show you how to hold the paring knife.”  And so the lesson began and the concept of growing down went unchallenged, therefore it became a part of my world. 

I would often think about things I wanted to do when I grew up, but just often I’d plan the things I wanted to do when I grew down. I was in my teen years before someone challenged this way of thinking.  They were so vehemently opposed to it that I began to think maybe I was wrong after all. Maybe I had just made up this process of growing up and down and then doing it over again. When my children were born, when my great grandparents, grandparents and parents died, I was sure I was totally wrong about this paradigm.

And so I became earth-bound in my thinking.  That is until I visited Trikala.  Now I know that eight-year old brains can indeed be in tune with the universe. Perhaps 57-year olds brains can be, as well, for that was the age my grandmother was when my ideas went unchallenged.  That, as well, is my age today, the day I discovered the truth.

The truth, though, I should warn you isn’t always pretty.  The process of its discovery can be sinister, malevolent and downright scary like a violent thunderstorm breaking large trees like toothpicks, pounding hail on the rooftops and threatening tornado-laden winds that take lives.  But when it has accomplished its task, there comes a rainbow coloring the earth in vibrant shades of reds, purples and pinks making everything more brilliant beneath in its wake. 

2 comments:

  1. I love the idea of growing down! I have always loved playing with children...still my favorite people! I believe the Bible verse that says we must be as children to enter into the kingdom of heaven and I want to make sure that I am one of that happy crowd! It is so wonderful that you have maintained this wisdom from childhood and through to your growing down years! I am so intrigued! I want to read more!

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  2. I really like the Pressfield quote. Jesus indicated that those who were child like can know the mystery of the ages. Great writing.

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