When I was a kid, most kids did not like me, nor did most of my teachers, even though I was gifted or maybe because of it. I grew up kind of happy. I think I would have grow up even happier if I knew just a few things that I know now.
When I was a kid, the World felt safe. I did have a spiritual life as a child, feelings of awe, wonder, compassion; experiences of connection and of transcendence, mystical experiences.
When I was a kid, the city and the streets were my playground as well as the fields and the forest. I remember moments of lying in the grass, flowers above me, vast sky overhead, insects buzzing and brushing by me. Moments of near dissolution into the Earth, the sky.
For me they were moments of total peace and contentment. They probably did not come often or last long, but they were potent. I knew, with kid’s certainty, I knew – but then I forgot, experiences and knowledge of the divine, without mediation, without the intercession.
My vision, my experience was full and clear, but that clarity faded as I grew and my mind and heart became confused with the things of this World.
We have become a secular culture. Whatever your personal, your private convictions may be, publicly, collectively, we honor technology and Human achievement. We invest in material goods, and value the Dollar above all else.
Such is the World today in which you and your kids live in. In clinics and laboratories and cyberspace you have lodged your faith – and it is not sufficient.
Our time is a time of pervasive mistrust and of isolation, where you encounter mostly strangers. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same.
Whether they pause to savor such moments, to name and nurture them, to call them spiritual and to respond in gratitude, this is up to you. Whether they learn to be intentional in using such insights to guide their behavior is up to you.
It is the souls of kids, kids who have a right to feel at home in the World.
In Africa there is a tribe that counts a child’s birthday from the day it first appears as a thought in the mother’s mind. She sits out in the forest listening for the child’s song.
When it comes to her, she returns to the tribe to find the man she wants to be the child’s father. She teaches him the child’s song, so that as they make love, they can sing it and invite the child to join them.
The mother sings the child’s song to it while it is in the womb. She teaches the song to the tribal midwives so that they can sing the child’s song to it when it is born.
The whole village learns the child’s song so that when it is hurt, it can be held and enfolded in its song.
Even in death, the villager is cradled and cared for by their song.