The morning is lovely. Our view of the mountains this morning is lovely. Life is lovely.
There is a special quiet to the early mornings, here in Firestone, CO. The neighborhood is slow to wake up. One or two folks are up and about, walking their dogs before the summer heat hits - and when it hits, it hits hard! They are right to be out in the cool of the silent morning.
As I wake up, I remember. I remember other mornings, so long ago. I feel a tug on my memory. Someone, or something, is opening a door to yesterday, offering me a glimpse into the life of the child I once was.
Oh, she was a strange little girl. I see her now and I lament over her shyness, her lack of understanding, her inability to cope with her world, and her desire... not to cope. She just wanted to be left alone. In the best Greta Garbo way.
That little girl, she was so skinny, "She would rattle around in a bushel basket!" my dad used to say. Well, he was my step-dad, but I didn't know it. Until I was 12, he was my dad, and remained so ever since, regardless of titles and society bringing me my 'real' dad.
There was such timidness in her. And still, she craved being out doors. Unlike myself, who does not find the out of doors a friendly place to be. My little girl self was eager to be ... there, out, not in. We (the neighborhood children and I) played outdoors all day long. We played tag (I once fell and broke my tailbone, I think... though I never told anyone, I just endured the pain for days and days afterward - after all, you didn't complain and you didn't go to the doctor, back then; not unless you were really bleeding to death). We built forts. We made up games. I don't remember them but I remember meetings to "do something different today". Our heads bent together, our breath still sweet from cereal at breakfast, our minds working like engines revving for a race.
My head, my mind, was too often lost in the clouds. Like a kite. I was a dreamer. When stuck inside, I would write stories and draw pictures. Oh sure, I was addicted to Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, on TV. But it was black and white and so tame, compared to today's television shows. Still, the fascination was real. I saw the dogs save little kids and soldiers and the townspeople, and I craved a dog of my own. But, that was not to be for a long, long time. So, I wrote stories about having a dog.
As I walk our dog, Emily, these days, I muse on the world that little girl I once was and I'm sad that she missed so much. I'm sad that she didn't know that her place in the world wasn't locked in her own mind, keeping others out. I wish she'd participated in those childish games with more enthusiasm. No, she didn't have a clue that her 'just being there' wasn't enough. She did as she was told. She had no ambition. All she wanted was peace.
It's that way, I think. For many of us. We didn't understand, as children, how the world is inviting us to live, and be alive, and achieve the dreams beating in our little hearts.
It was a different time, back in 1950 and through to 1969, when I graduated from high school.
I don't blame the time. I don't look back and think, "Oh, I could have been so much more if only time had been kinder."
It wasn't time that held me back.
And, it wasn't myself. Life coaches and therapists would say, "Talk it out," or "Release it to the Universe and move on!" And to them, I say, I've done that. But, the wonder of who I might have been, lingers.
I wonder, had I believed in myself, could I have been... whatever I wanted? That's what we teach our children now. And that's what it should be. They can achieve their dreams, if they work hard. However, with that hard work needs to come support and encouragement. Both are necessary.
Oh yes, many people achieve greatness with no support, no encouragement, or so it seems on the surface. I applaud those who rise to greatness completely on their own merits. They are to be admired.
Myself? I lacked that ability. I was not able to turn inward and teach myself to make my dreams come true. I did pursue my dreams, but I never believed they would come true. I had some encouragement. From teachers. Teachers who believed in me, who told me I was talented. It was not enough. It didn't carry through.
There is no turning back. You can go home again, but it isn't the same.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn appreciation.
These days, I think it starts with appreciation. I am grateful for this life. For this wondrous day, full of sunshine and warmth, and the lovely, lovely sounds of birds in the trees, of an occasional dog barking, and the sounds of silence that whisper of a day coming to life.
In my appreciation, I wax the morning nostalgic. That little girl I once was calls out to me to remember her, and to make her proud of me.