photo via Grandville Historical Society
"I walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all of those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn't."
-Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
When I was younger, one of my favorite books was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I just fell in love with the main character, Charlie - I loved his innocent and yet perceptive perspective on the world, loved his struggle to make sense of growing up and the understanding of the costs one pays with getting older.
I remember the scene above, as described in the novel, being so poignant for me (and still is to this day). I too miss the rapture, sincerity, unreserve, and novelty of when you are younger. How everything is a new - raw - exciting experience. There are times where I really miss the "ignorance of youth" (now I'm sounding old, but you know what I mean) - a time where everything was innocent and fresh, your guard was down because mistakes of the past haven't happened yet and you were a little more fearless because you weren't yet encumbered by the responsibilities of what comes with adulthood.
There is another scene in that book where the character Charlie is driving in his car with his friends and he describes the moment as him feeling "infinite" ("And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."). I remember when I was a teenager having nights like that - where your friends and the possibilities of the night sends a spark within you that makes the moment become everything, become enough, become infinite. It has been such a long time since I have had that feeling - that electric sensation that comes with beginnings and youthfulness. And my biggest fear of growing up was always of that feeling slipping away.
I wish as you get older you could hold onto that sensibility a bit more. I wish as you get older "sledding were always enough" ... "but it isn't," and really how can it be?
But I guess it gets replaced with other assured emotions that are the result of experience, and perhaps that is the design so when you have a family of your own you can remember and relive the feeling of being "infinite" through the eyes of your children and family foundation. Just a thought....