Sunday, December 16, 2012

"My heart goes back to wander there..."

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” -Albert Einstein

       Looking back at our earliest memories with happiness my sisters remind me of our childhood- a childhood faded over time and idealized could only be described as magical. We spent hours outside playing. Using only our imaginations we  relished our make believe palaces, pretending, creating stories. One day we were performers and rock stars and the next day millionaires, college professors, kings, queens amid castles with royal knights. We dressed up in our Mom's clothing, scarves, jewelry, shoes and applied her cologne and make-up. We enjoyed  Barbie dolls, flashlight tag and "war". We played Stratego, Monopoly and the game of Life. We would walk unaccompanied to our little neighborhood grocery store to buy "pop" and candy. When we felt daring we would climb down the cliffs at the end of our street to the shores of Lake Erie. We would collect shells and toss stones into the waves. We watched many sunsets and reflected in peace. Our bicycles were our horses to gallop away to adventures. Our yard was our playing field for badminton and football. We spread out  blankets under our sprawling oak trees, looking at books while eating bags of Doritos and sandwiches. We played with all the kids on our block and visited with parents who knew us by name. It was a carefree time full of wonder and exploration.
       When the adult grind becomes overwhelming and stressful with politics, bills, our jobs and the endless "to-do lists" it's easy  to conjure up the past. Friday, in tears watching the news of the tragic events unfolding in Newtown, Connecticut I texted my older sister, an elementary school teacher. "Do you know?". She replied back with one simple phrase which was understood. " I want to be ignorant." She wasn't referring to a denial of reality, brutality or tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook. She was reflecting on a temporary ignorance is bliss where the unfairness and cruelties of society are unknown, a time before we hear and see too much of the world. A time before our innocence is lost forever.