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 I took a walk alone into town and sat down for a few minutes to watch the children play at the local park. What joy and innocence! They were squealing with delight, faces flushed from running, and eyes wide open with anticipation for their next game of make believe. I then saw an older girl about 12 years old, more serious, but who smiled at me as she walked past me. I was thinking, she is starting to grow up, and taking on the so called heaviness and seriousness, that being a mature adult means.

I wondered when did I lose my childhood joy? When laughter was exhilarating, and the world was a playground? I remember going to sleep, and waking up with anticipation for the fun I would have with my friends. I realized, that the heaviness came upon me, when I began to see the world as a scary place, when loss was starting to be experienced, school became a challenge, and where I couldn’t be myself because it was “wrong”, according to the well-meaning adults around me such as parents or teachers. We begin to lose this joy when we become self conscious, fearful of expressing ourselves, have pressures by the rules of our culture or society; it stifles the soul. The creatures of the earth, are always themselves, perhaps they can teach us to be.

I have recaptured some of my child-like freedom with my soulmate, Phil. We have total acceptance of one another, and allow each other’s expression without fear of being judged. When our souls are not stifled, we are able to create and experience spontaneous joy, moments of wonder, and an uninhibited laughter that nourishes the mind, body and dare I say soul.

A gift of love, that we can give another, be it to a mate, family, friends, or acquaintances is to give them a safe space to be.