Friday, January 11, 2013

Something Beautiful

It’s easy to get caught up in the routine, to become preoccupied with the responsibilities that come with growing up. Leave the childhood dreams of exploration and adventure and forget the world you used to believe in—the beautiful world of enchanting magic, wondrous possibility, and frightening beauty. To enter the world of success, of strived-for luxury. There’s no longer time to have a picnic, get lost, watch the silhouette of a flock of birds as they cross a mountain at dusk. We can’t put our feet up on the dash because we won’t be in the car long enough for it to be worth it. 

There’s no time for this because there’s work to do, people to see, essays to write, problems to solve, paintings to paint, children to sing to sleep. There’s a path to success we follow, preparing ourselves for the life of stability and comfort and hard work and joy. A life full of responsibility but also full of satisfaction and magnificent moments. This is the life most of us strive for. It is a good life. It is an important life. But we forget the mystery of childhood dreams. We forget what it’s like to have nothing instead of seek everything.

There’s something beautiful about driving with nowhere to go. About stopping to buy a powdered donut simply because you feel like it. Running through dry grass, jumping over crooked streams, playing the banjo. There’s something beautiful about swimming in the lake because you can, staring into a campfire until your eyes burn, sleeping in a tent under the stars in the middle of nowhere. There’s something beautiful about being able to sit still long enough for a bird to land on your out-stretched hand. It’s something beautiful, something brave, something strange to live without a planned future. To live for today and fall into tomorrow.

It’s not something responsible. It’s not something stable. It’s not something to do for forever.

But it is something beautiful.

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