Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Holidays: Welcome Back, Inner Child

About the middle of November each year The Child in me becomes restless, wanting to come out and play. He emerges from the secret place where's he's been hiding in my innermost being for the past year. The Child waits to see if I'll take his hand and let him lead me. He reminds me it is time to think about Thanksgiving and then to Advent and on to Christmas further down the line. I welcome The Child with joy after so long an absence. We frolic around the house, play games like Cheat-the-Devil and Fox and Geese, if there's snow outside of course. He and I laugh and sing songs and make fools of ourselves and long before either of us is tired of the antics Christmas becomes fixed in my mind and I warn the Child not to go too far away because great and wonderful things are coming down the pike, just over the horizon.

It takes me a while to grow accustomed to this change of seasons but The Child takes the lead. Before I know it I'm thinking pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce and the first Sunday in Advent and after that the journey to refuge far from Herod. Such thoughts take me back each year to my own childhood, to years past. I remember the richness of memory, wonderful things happening, a few defeats, more victories, gains and losses, and those times then when something so magical, so mysterious even, brought tears to my eyes. There was birth and death, pain and healing from pain, so much joy it sometimes nearly smothered me. My need to love often overwhelms me, love for that child next door who is being shuffled around between separated parents, the Thanksgiving dinner for folks at the Salvation Army, the birds that sing so cheerfully in the cold.

My Inner Child is like Christopher Robin in disguise. I hear Christopher Robin say to Pooh, "Promise me you'll always remember, you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

The Inner Child that's hidden away in each of us is restless to break out from the long year's confinement. We can make room for him/her and while That Child waits for us to take him by the hand to go out to play we can read the opening lines on page 74 of WHIRLWINDS AND SMALL VOICES,, Robbins/McConkey.

So, come now, Child, let's you and I go tearing down the path into the woods. Why? Because we're both children, that's why, and because that's what children do.

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