Yesterday, while I was still home in Chicago, I was outside by the pool playing with my cousin's nephew, an adorable little 15 month old, and he pointed to an airplane going by in the sky. This is a new thing he's doing now: every time he sees an airplane, he looks up, points to it, and follows it through the sky, laughing and smiling. My cousin remarked as he did so: 'It's so funny, it's like every time he sees it is the very first time.'
There's a great Jim Henson quote that I love, which goes: "The most sophisticated people I know- inside, they're all children." Picasso often spoke of the connection between being an artist and being a child; to be creative and innovative, one cannot be affected by the rules, standards, and conformations of the adult word. To innovate you have to see things differently, like a child does. Every experience has to be a unique experience that you'll never experience again. Because that's what moments and experiences actually are.
Today as I explored the beautiful landscape of Ithaca, I thought about why, especially living in an urban/suburban area, it's so peaceful and wonderful to be in nature and observe it. There's something about it that's distant and old, untouched. It's not human. It's not affected. It just is, and whatever it is is beautiful. There is nothing of any ascribed value- it is all simply as it is, and the beauty needs to be found to be appreciated. It really made me happy to jump from rock to rock in a stream, to climb a waterfall, to listen to water running. I'm at a point in my life, finally, after much growing, where I am not afraid to take in all that beauty, to sit quietly with myself and let it touch me.
It was a nice reminder to keep wondering, keep trying, keep learning, and never grow up.