My 5-year-old daughter dives headlong into her pool. It's nothing fancy--just a good-sized inflatable pool with an inflatable slide. You plug the hose into the slide so water arcs onto it, making it slick like a slip-n-slide. It's a nice inflatable pool, but far from an in-the-ground pool pool. But to her, it's a slice of paradise.
She stands there, having unhooked the hose, and lets the water shoot overhead and splash down on her. She laughs uncontrollably. The sun glistens through the water, turning it into diamonds showering upon this little princess--cheap water-diamonds from a yellow hose and a backyard spigot. She doesn't know it's not a pool pool or that they are cheap water-diamonds. She only knows that all of time is present in this moment, a moment she will live in until her parents make her come inside. This is joy.
We need this joy. Somewhere between trying to be cool and trying to be responsible we stopped showering in water-diamonds. What we had wasn't enough. Who we were wasn't enough. Where we were heading wasn't clear and, so, became our obsession. How crazy is that? We became obsessed with the non-existent--things we didn't have, identities not our own, a future that was only a dream or a nightmare--and we called that "growing up."
We do better to "become like a little child." All of space and time are present in this little inflatable pool and yellow hose. There is sunshine and there are people I love. There is laughter and a shower of water-diamonds. There is joy...and I can dive headlong into it.