"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

29 July 2010

Energy Boost

The other day I started down the stairs from my third-floor office, on my way to lunch in the cafeteria, moving slowly from fatigue and aching muscles, feeling a little sorry for myself to be working in the office in July. As I reached the the second floor, little N, the son of good friends, happened to be racing in my direction, laughing and squealing, his goal the next flight down; mom grabbed him up a few feet from his destination. He struggled happily in her arms, still laughing, happy as I've ever seen a kid just being a kid.

I walked up to them, grinning at N, and said to him, "Why don't you just give me one-tenth of that energy? You'd still have plenty left; come on, just a tenth?"

He laughed out loud and responded to my obviously facetious request for something or other with his favorite nearly-two word: "Noooo!!!" His face crinkled with the joy of being able to say that word without rebuke, with the sheer joys of being alive and a little boy with the affectionate and laughing attention of all the adults surrounding him and rejoicing with him.

I'd never be a kid again (because kids grow up and who would want to go through that more than once), but I wish I could recapture that sheer joy of living now and then.