Saturday, November 06, 2004

Loss of Childhood

I remember with entire distinctness the moment when the consciousness possessed me that my childhood was transcended by dawning manhood, and I can never forget the pang that moment brought me. It was on a bright, moonlight night, in midwinter, when my mates, boisterous with life, were engaged in there usual games in the snow, and I had gone out expecting to share in their enjoyment. I had not played, or rather tried to play, five minutes before I found that there was nothing in the play for me -- that I had absolutely exhausted play as the grand pursuit of my life. Never since has the wild laugh of boyhood sounded so vacant and hollow, as it did to me on that night. In an instant, the invisible line was crossed which separated a life of purely animal enjoyment from a life of moral motive and responsibility, and intellectual action and enterprise.
The old had passed away, and I had entered that which was new; and I turned my steps homeward, leaving behind me all my companions, to spend a quiet evening in the chimney-corner, and dream of the realm that was opening before me.
Such a moment as this comes really, though not always consciously, to every man and woman. Today we are children; tomorrow we are not. Today we stand in life's vestibule; tomorrow we are in the temple, awed by the sweep of the arches over us, humbled by the cross that fronts us, and smitten with the mysteries that breathe upon us from the choir, or gaze at us from the flaming windows. --- Timothy Titcomb "Lessons in Life"

I had considered adding some thoughts to this but his thoughts are complete, so I'll not.


fcb4 said...

Depressing post.

I think the dusk of our own childhood is but the dawn of a second in your children.

Play is reincarnated, the same but different.

It's as if the Lord let's you relive it again and choose the best parts to incorporate into the lives of your own kids. Kind of like granparenting I guess.

Mel said...

I didn't find it depressing at all! Nostalgic, yes, and bittersweet. Timothy was blessed to have been given eyes to see the change so clearly. Many of us just wake up one day to realize we're not kids anymore, and don't like the same things we used to.