There is something about this time of year that encourages many adults, even those who no longer believe in magic, to suspend that rational way of thinking. The holiday season is a time of Santa, elves, flying reindeer, and speed traveling around the world in one night. It is a time of encouraging the young ones to continue to believe in wonder, mystery and magic.
In one of my all-time favorite books The Book of Awakening, author Mark Nepo writes about the topic of believing. It is one of the shorter essays in the book, but is nonetheless a deeply contemplative sharing. It begins with this quote: “Believing is all a child does for a living.” ~ Kurtis Lamkin.
Here is how it continues:
“Picasso once said that artists are those of us who still see with the eyes of children. Somehow, as we journey into the world, more and more gets in the way, and we stop questioning things in order to move deeper into them and start questioning as a way to challenge things we fear are false.
As a child I used to talk to things — birds that flew overhead, trees that swayed slowly in the night, even stones drying in the sun. For years, though, I stopped doing this freely because of what others might think, and then I stopped altogether. Now I learn that Native Americans do this all the time, that many original peoples believe with their childlike eyes right into the center of things.
Now, almost fifty, I am humbled to recover the wisdom that believing is not a conclusion, but a way into the vitality that waits in everything.”
* When you can, talk with a child about how they see the world.
I am so moved by this short essay by Mark Nepo. Is there anything particular about this passage that resonates with you?
As a child did magic and creativity play a big role in your life? Was it encouraged or discouraged?
Imagine you have a magical pair of glasses that can allow you to return and look at the world through the eyes of your former child self.
What do you see when you look around yourself right now?
What do you see when you walk outside and look around?
Try communicating with any animals you see – cat, dog, squirrel, birds, or maybe even wild turkeys perhaps? What do you want to tell them? What do you think they want to tell you?
Now try communicating to the trees, bushes, flowers, and grass your thoughts and feelings. Now share a message with the sky, the dirt, the rocks and water if there is any nearby. If it isn’t too cold out take off your shoes and stand on the ground in your bare feet. What does communing with our earth mama feel like? Do you hear any messages in return?
Considering how we are also about to end one calendar year and begin another one anew, is there anything that you want to believe as you enter into a new cycle? Are there some beliefs in magic and wonder that you want to recover and feel deep in your soul?