I haven’t been writing much here, and there really isn’t an excuse for that. Part of it is that I’m tired. But tired is par for the course. Part of it is that there isn’t much to write about other than the same ol’ same ol’ and I get just as tired of writing about it as I’m sure y’all get of reading about it. We still do not have a fence in the front yard, and we still have a broken fountain in the back yard. Both of these things cause me a lot of stress and annoyance. Stress and annoyance, dear reader, make my body react in the usual way, with pain and fatigue, and grumpiness. Grrr. As I said, same ol’ same ol’. So that’s not what I wanted to write about today.
So, I am a member of a group on Facespace that posts pictures of the local flora, and it’s nice to see pretty pictures of flowers every day. Mostly it’s people asking for identification of said flowers and plants, but whatever. I lurk and like. I used to be a member of a of a similar group that posted pictures of the local fauna, but I honestly got tired of all of the bug pictures. Like, every day people were posting bugs and fawning over “this beauty in my garden!” Ugh. Like, I’m okay with bugs, but I have my limit. A most of the other pictures on that group were birds. So it was a Facebook group of bugs and birds. And I get it, this is the desert, so there isn’t much else to post, but, I dunno. I just didn’t feel any excitement over these things. And therein lies the problem. This morning, I thought of that group and was thinking, “You’d think they’d never seen a bird before.” And that’s when it struck me, dear reader. I have, some time over the past few years, lost my childlike sense of wonder. Because someone who sees the world with childlike wonder would be one of the people posting pictures of a bird, bug, or snake in their yard with the caption, “Look at this wonderful creature who paid me a visit!” and not the person saying, “You’d think they’d never seen a bird, bug, or snake before.” And that thought saddens me more than you can realize. It is the one thing I thought I would never lose in my life. I always believed that looking at the world with wonder and awe was a core part of my very being, but somehow, in some way, it’s gone. And I honestly don’t know if there’s a way to get it back.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t turned into a jaded cynic who’s mad at the world, and I hope I never will. I mean I’ve always been somewhat cynical and skeptical even when I had that childlike sense of wonder. Hell, when I was a kid, I questioned everything while believing that there was magic around every corner. It was one of my most annoying features, as I’m sure my teachers will tell you. I’ve always been contrary. I’m the old fashioned definition of skeptical — questioning with an open mind. Looking back over the past couple of years though, I realize that there has been something missing. Where before when I would walk about and see something mystical and magical in derelict places, now only I wonder if there are ne’er-do-wells lurking about doing mischief. And it keeps me from wanting to go out into the world at all if you want to know the truth of it. Sometimes it keeps me from reaching out online too. But that’s a story for another time. And, while I’ve always been on the lookout for the unseen and unknown, because I’ve never been a fluffy white-lighter, I’ve also kept my mind open to the idea that those dark, empty places also harbor good too. Good things happen in the night as well as the day.
Anyway, I guess I kinda realized that I was losing my childlike joy in the world when I stopped celebrating the holidays, even though I went through the motions every year. There just wasn’t any… happiness in doing so. I guess there was something, because I did go through the motions — hope. And hope is not nothing. You know? But I honestly didn’t think that I was so far gone that I couldn’t stop and enjoy the birds, or that this thing that I thought was such a basic part of me was so distant that I would deride other people’s enjoyment of the world around them. Not publicly… but to myself, in my own thoughts. I’m not that much of a curmudgeon! However, and this is the important part, I honestly and truly believed with all my heart, that I would hold that childlike sense of wonder near to me my entire life. That I would always see the world around me as full of magic and that the sight of a flower or a bird would stop me in my tracks and I would always take the time to say, “That’s beautiful!” no matter how old and grumpy I got. Hell, even the bugs shouldn’t have caused me to quit the group because who am I to say that bugs are not beautiful in the eyes that behold them? You know? I think though, that all is not lost, there’s something to be said, dear reader, in recognizing a problem. And I do see this as a problem because without magic in the world, for me, there’s just something… missing.