33 Days of Truth: Day 12
I sat there and watch as the young girl danced wildly on the beach under the late afternoon sun. Brown wet hair whipping, tan arms waving, she twirled and flailed and leaped about the waves in the most exuberant way. I was completely mesmerized. She was having more fun than anybody and everybody else on that beach. She danced, truly, like nobody was watching.
Then, in an instant, the girl dropped down onto the sand and into a seated lotus position. She became perfectly still with her legs crossed, hands resting on her knees, palms face up. She held this meditative pose of utter calm for a moment until, just as suddenly as she had stopped, she leapt back to her feet and resumed the same whirlwind of ecstatic motion.
She moved like the the spirit moved her. It was as if she couldn’t contain all of the life inside her. But she needed to catch her breath now and then, too. I looked on with amusement as she plopped down once more into her meditation pose, for the briefest pause, and then bounded right up again in a renewed flurry of dancing.
At one point she bounded through the water with such abandon that she tripped on her own feet and totally ate shit in the waves. It was so epic a fail and yet she did not care. Or rather, she cared so much that she enjoyed it with every fiber of her being.
I felt inspired by her. When I got up and wandered down from the hot sand into the clear blue water, I jumped in with more energy and enthusiasm than usual.
My mom and sister joined me, and we all took a leaf out of that little girl’s book by leaping up and falling into the waves, vigorously splashing.
Our playful antics lead to us pretending to be humpback whales. We breached majestically above the waves. We slapped the surface with our fins. We dove under and let our feet become tails, splashing at the water joyfully. We laughed and laughed and laughed.
Mind you, we were a trio of fully grown up women out in public, pretending to be these whales. But like the girl, we couldn’t have cared less who was watching. We were too busy having a ball. It felt really good to forget about being the adults, to give up on having any grace or poise or decorum whatsoever, and just be fully present in our fun. The way kids do.
It is not unusual for me, my mom, and my sister to get quite silly like this together, as we often bring out the childlike playfulness in one another. Of the three of us, though, I have a strong tendency to take life a bit too seriously, maybe too much of the time. It always helps having others to remind me to lighten up, whether it’s my own family or a stranger.
Following my birthday reflections on aging, which I talked about yesterday, for today Day 12 of my 33 Days of Truth challenge I wanted to share this experience of childlike playfulness I had on the beach. A sweet, everyday kind of lesson on how we can serve as positive examples and sources of inspiration for each other. Like that dancing girl was for me.
I’m sure she didn’t have the slightest inkling of her influence. But that girl was a great reminder to do to me and everyone to do your own thing, to dance and play and enjoy the moment with all your might. Even when you crash and eat it in the waves of life. It’s all part of the fun. And whenever you need to or feel like it, feel free to stop, breathe, meditate. And repeat.