When I was little, growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, my parent's had a large cherry tree in the back yard. We only lived 1 block from a huge park, complete with pool where I took swim lessons. The street we had to cross was extremely busy though, so my dad hung a board from some rope in the tree so I could swing at home.
What joy to swing up into the tree!!! I would stand on that board and pick off cherries from the lower branches. I would lean back and try to touch them with my toes.
At the park I could swing on a swing set, and look right into the sky. I could fly!! No matter how high I swung, I could never seem to touch the sky or the clouds with my toes. But I could soar and see the tops of some young trees. I was joyful and free!
Now when I sit on a swing set, I realize that I am a little bigger than I used to be, therefore a little less joyful and a little less capable of soaring. Adulthood kills so much joy and fun!
What if that wasn't really true? What if even as adults we could sit and swing, stretching our toes up into the sky trying to touch the clouds? What if we pretended we could fly and soar and find joy in swinging?
Worse is the fact that we live out every day the same way. We don't think we can soar anywhere. We talk ourselves out of flying, simply because, as we try to pretend, we are older and wiser. Of course we can't fly or touch the sky with our toes! We've matured beyond such silliness!
What if we didn't? What if we had that same youthful joy? What if we could have that same youthful spirit? Would we even want it?
What if I told you that you could? What if today was the day you could soar through the tree's, touch the clouds with your toes, stand on the swing and just pick cherries right out of the tree?
This week, I've bee participating in a book club, for my friend Bonnie's new book, Whispers of Rest. (You can still join us!!) We are only on Day 9 and already it is messing with so many ideas and notions and thoughts and beliefs!
There has not been one single 'what if' question, yet that is exactly where I find myself. What if I could recapture the joy of childhood? What if life really were less complicated than I choose it to be? What if there was a way to just sit still, or swing, and find joy?
What if we are supposed to stop worrying about being adults and responsible and what others think? What if we are supposed to run through the sprinkler, go play on a swing set, sit and pick out shapes in the clouds? What if we were meant to live lives filled with joy and wonder and simplicity?
I don't really have an answer yet to all the what ifs. I do know that I am beginning to see a picture of life that goes against everything I ever thought. A life filled with freedom and joy despite the hard things. A life filled with smiles and picnics, despite the weather. A life that is so filled with good, that the bad looks less bad. A life in which we truly can soar!!!!!