A couple of weeks ago our family was discussing the upcoming birthday which our older daughter and I share. (She'll be eleven; I'll be another year closer to forty on the far side of thirty-five.)
"Are you dreading turning another year older?" I was asked.
"The older I am, the less people can say about whatever crazy things I may do, " I replied. "Aging is an advantage!"
Yesterday I decided I might as well put that advantage to use. I spent the day wading in the creek (Ozarks creeks are spring-fed, but so what if you can't feel your toes after the first two steps?), and picnicing on the bank, watching the water dance on the ripples and listening to the birds fluttering and calling in the false-spring temperatures. Then I waded back across the creek and walked 1/2 the distance home barefoot down the old logging road through the woods and into the fields, glorious mud and all. Granted, after a quarter of a mile, having been stabbed in the toe by a multi-floral rose thorn and by another in the heel from a thorn tree, I did at last capitulate and lace my hiking boots back on, but by then I was giddy with freedom, laughing aloud in sheer delight at the day, doing little dance steps through the field and scandalizing the cows.
Why do we ever stop doing the things we love as children? Why do we abandon the sheer sensual pleasures of squishing mud between our toes or plunking rocks into water just to hear the sound and watch the ripples? G. K. Chesterton once wrote about the Creator's childlike, eternal delight in his creation, saying, ". . .for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." Indeed, I believe 'tis quite so.