The Handsome Dog is always wistful, always hopeful for something, and as I step onto the porch to honor his most recent fervent request, I notice that it is nineteen degrees.
With only the dog to see the glimmer in my eye, I release my coffee breath into great billows. I still get the same delight from it as I did when I was six. I am a DRAGON!
I am a forty year old dragon in jammies standing on the back porch. Although forty might be past ripe for a lady, it is infancy for the dragon that I am.
In seeing my breath, I see the thing that my very life is comprised of. The vapor shows me that by just being alive, I make an elemental impact on the world around me. I am alive, and that is no small thing. It also shows that this life is fleeting.
Kahlil Gibran famously said,"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself." He was right, so right. And who am I to argue with a prophet?
But I have no children. No children. It will always be that way.
I wish I had known when I was younger how much of my small pleasures would stay the same, the exact same, my whole life. I am just as amazed and just as exultant over my puffs as I ever was. My heart leaps in my chest just a little.
And that is how I know that Gibran saw in part, but not fully. Because as much as I am able to enter into my childlike self, it is also life's longing for itself. I am still the child I was.
Though we are middle aged (as far as people go), let's be dragons. Let's sound our barbaric yawps over the rooftops of the world, fly kites, blow bubbles, skip, sing into our hairbrushes, and dance in the kitchen.
Because to keep a childlike heart is life's longing for itself.
The Handsome Dog is always wistful, always hopeful for something.