Thursday, January 6, 2011

Things I understood better when I was ten

The year I was ten, many bad things happened to me: my most recent father died, I joined the paramilitary youth group, we moved in with another family because we couldn't make it on our own, the daily beatings began--I could go on, but that list seems like more than enough. I certainly remember all of those things, and they have undoubtedly shaped me a great deal, but I more often recall what the world felt like to me back then.

As some of those memories hit me earlier today, I realized that the younger me understood a great many things better than I do. For example, at ten I knew that

grass smells amazing after an afternoon rain

if you cut that grass right then, it smells even more amazing

people with nothing to share will usually give you more than those who have more than they need

on a hot day, the first sip of cold water from the spigot in the shade of the house is as delicious as anything could possibly be

you + your friend + an afternoon = infinite possibility

building a fort is insanely great

a fort you've built is as good as any castle

if you're sad, go outside and play. It's hard to be sad when you're running around like a mad thing

laugh when you run. Everything's better when you laugh

a butterfly that lands on you is a touch of heaven

superheros are the best

walking into an air-conditioned building after hours in the hot sun is like getting to eat dessert first

they really did play that song on the radio just for you

rock and roll can fill you up so much that you just know you could explode and blanket the whole planet with your energy

pie is awesome

when you bite into that cheeseburger and the juice runs down your chin and they tell you to wipe it off, ignore them, take another bite, and, man, is that great

being able to make the Tarzan yell would be like having a superpower

hiding in the branches of a tree is almost as good as being invisible

books are magic

it was a mistake to give up your invisible friend
I was so much wiser then.

Maybe, as Dylan wrote and the Byrds sang, "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."


J. Griffin Barber said...

There is also the total awesome of watching a thunderstorm approach!

Mark said...

Indeed! The sky darkening and tingling with electricity is proof that the world is magical and powerful and more than us.


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