Innocence. What does it bring to mind? Perhaps it makes you think of gurgling babies... laughing children...safety and security.
I have realised that innocence is a tiered word...a set of steps, some intervals being much bigger than others, and some barely noticeable, but still evident in hindsight.
Most think innocence is reserved and sacred to childhood. It's kept safely in all of our pasts...locked inside a mirror that we can visit and ponder... and perhaps long for. The giddy excitement of Christmas Eve... baking cookie while wearing an apron that belongs to your grandma...flour dusted across a freckled nose, and a sugar high from eating too much chocolate frosting. Perhaps it's barefoot breezy summer days playing baseball... making mud pies or swimming in a lake...it's the sound of crickets at dusk, the lightning fast flight of dragonflies...and a dirty, chubby handful of dandelions presented to your mother with wholehearted pride.
And then you reach the next interval... when a bike or a car is ultimate freedom, and the world is truly yours. Nothing stops your dreams of movie stars and boy bands... and a key love song is the most personal expression of your heart, as proven by the repeat button. Your money comes from an allowance, your future is past the horizon...and it's all blooming...your corner of the world is creating you.
Innocence isn't confined to a time. We are progressing, from innocence into time....time into innocence. Pain teaches us to grow and forces us to constantly recreate ourselves. Sometimes by choice...often and more regrettably just by the nature of what human life is....uncertain.
Joy finds us in the most unexpected of places. Perhaps it's watching children dance, or hearing a baby laugh. Maybe it will strike you in an unanticipated way as you meet someone new, and they seem to have always been a part of you. You will find it as you give a dog a belly rub...or watch a feline in a prismatic ray of sun. They have found their sweet spot...they have claimed a moment of innocence by choice....
and so can you. xo