On a less than perfect day for me,  while my head gnawed and churned on the issues du jour,  a little girl came up to August and waved hello. We were sitting at the outdoor cafe when she came right up to us, and August waved hello back. Soon they were giggling and standing next to each other, enjoying putting their hands into the water fountain. The two girls hugged each other, they were all smiles, there were more giggles but no words. Their laughs, giggles, smiles and eye contact were the only means of communication they used.

What a joy to witness this pure encounter between two little humans. Both girls were present and happy, without the baggage that too many years on this planet can offer. I looked around and saw a child asleep on his father's lap but no other children. I looked at every adult in the cafe, my own reflection, and we all looked so burdened, heavy... even while smiling, our auras were languid compared to these light souls. These children actually bounced around in a pattern similar to two butterflies dancing over a patch of clover.  I teared up.

For as much as we adults want to shed our defenses, undress and become once again as little children, it is not possible. So many try to return, but it's a one time experience. A child is a child, we can no longer be children we can only learn from them and be reminded of the magic that is childhood. If you lose your burdensome load and I unload mine, perhaps we can clear our minds long enough to find common ground in how a stream of water feels running through our fingertips, delighting in how it makes the other smile.

We can pause, be present and enjoy the moment but it's not the same. I remember how it once was, when it was new and words were not needed. We all have those memories from childhood and how it felt. Just watching August and her new little friend together made me feel invulnerable. I had a break from all my pressing thoughts and an optimistic surge of energy.  New thoughts, better thoughts, replaced what I had been pondering. August began to cry because her shoes were bothering her, reminding me that happiness, even for children, is  moment to moment. What I want for August and every child is a long childhood, what I want for every adult is less cargo. What could save mankind is less words, perhaps no words, eye contact, being present and practicing empathy.

The Beats have poems for every occasion...

Gregory CorsoLast Night I Drove A Car 

Last night I drove a car 
        not knowing how to drive 
        not owning a car 
    I drove and knocked down 
        people I loved 
       ...went 120 through one town. 
    I stopped at Hedgeville 
        and slept in the back seat 
       ...excited about my new life. 
Supposedly one of Corso's mindless, throw away poems. So much right there.


Knock, knock.....she opens the door to the dollhouse then shoves the doll back out the door along with the entire contents of the home. Knock, knock...the little wooden homeowners return and begin the difficult task of carrying all their furniture back into the house. Knock, knock...we play a tug-o-war with poor Mr. Doll. So goes the game.

Sometimes the cousins visit...

Grateful for April

In March I bought a paper puncher that created 3 inch stars and a thick book of scrapbooking paper and got to work on my vision. Since August had been singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for some time already, I wanted to give her stars for her birthday.  Every morning, while she had breakfast we watched The Gilmore Girls and I punched stars. It was hard to stop. I wanted long, long garlands of stars. I found some old children's books, unfit for reading and awaiting repurposing, and made stars out of them. Old Christmas wrapping paper that I had saved because it was just too cute also became stars.

The day before August's birthday, I was still assembling the garland, glueing the stars to a fine gauge crocheting thread. What was curious is upon starting the project, I had planned on stringing the garland among the crepe myrtles, sorghum tree and pines. Jacob and I, along with August tidied up a clearing  under the trees and planned on celebrating there with a teepee or fort made of tall bamboo sticks and old table cloths. I thought of planting wisteria on her day and turning the area into a magical cove for next year. We had also thought of celebrating at the park if only we could find an area to string the stars. As we walked through the neighborhoods, I'd find myself looking at yards and empty lots and pictured garlands of stars hanging.  The more stars I'd punch out and glue together, the more excited I'd become about decorating. I did start to feel uneasy about celebrating outside despite having fallen in love with our clearing near the rabbit den surrounded by pinecones. In me was the notion that it would not happen where we were planning and thought perhaps due to rain but another plan was in the making.

Here I was  in Austin, the morning before August's birthday, decorating my friend's dining room, far from the forests and lakes of Woodville. We arrived the week before through a series of unexpected events, the kind that just fall on your lap sometimes. We were just in time to celebrate Easter and several April birthdays with dear friends after three years of sharing through photos, videos and emails only.  Out of curiosity I checked the weather in Woodville the morning of her birthday and rain was expected after all.

August loved her decorations, her "August stars", as she called them. She waited all day. She practiced extraordinary patience on her birthday. It was a long wait but the whole day was filled with little treats.  She had waffles with extra syrup for breakfast, she watched television for as long as she wanted, we danced, decorated a cake, took a long nap and just had a great time. Once everyone arrived we skipped dinner and went straight to candles, song and cake...then presents!

April was a month of wonderful surprises and loving generosity. I am only now coming down from it all but still feeling a tender coziness and moved to record it here. Her second birthday is forever a memory in my mind, my heart. None of the camera's I used were able to capture the colors of the stars, how they gently danced around or the way the room looked or felt, the way the light hit the cake and the how the stars, cake and August's dress all played off each other. No photos captured the excited or sweet expressions August had moment to moment. Rather than become frustrated I just settled for what the camera chose to show. It was lovely though, a very special day.