There’s a little girl one seat over from me. She’s restless, barely remaining seated in her mother’s lap, and making noises all the while. Every now and then, I’m able to make out a single word spoken softly in Spanish. She waves the handbill around, pretending to conduct the band playing before us.
She looks so free.
Not a care in the world, as though nothing, no one, else matters. She is happy because she does as she pleases. There is no doubt, no fear, only joy.
I was like that once.
Ready to dive in at the deep end. I didn’t care what others thought; I was too focused on making my own way in the world. Life was much more fun that way.
But then I stop, observe myself. I’m laughing at some joke I’ve made up, one only I can understand. I’m moving my hands elaborately as one does when speaking. I can’t remember what I was saying, but it’s clearly amused me. And the smile on my face: I can’t see it, but I know from the way it feels that it’s genuine; a sign of true happiness.
Maybe I haven’t lost my sense of wonder. Perhaps its presence can only be felt when my mind is clear; when I’ve let go.
I refocus my attention on the melodies produced by the talented, young musicians, and silently thank them for the calm sensation they’ve provided me; the clarity that grants freedom.