Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Even as we pass by the joy and beauty of youth on the streets without dreaming it is there, so we may hurry past the very presence of grand things without recognition. We may easily fail to sense those spiritual realities, which in every age have haunted youth and called to him without ceasing. It may relieve the mind to break forth in moments of irritation against "the folly of the coming generation," but whoso pauses on his plodding way to call even his youngest and rashest brother a fool ruins thereby the joy of his journey, - for youth is so vivid an element in life that unless it is cherished all the rest is spoiled. The most praiseworthy journey grows dull and leaden unless companioned by youth's iridescent dreams."

What stuck out to me in this quote was simply 'the vivid element and iridescent dreams of youth'. At 61 the boy in me has been nearly extinguished. But it rises up at times and brings with it the 'vivid element' in living; the adventure, the sense of wonder that tints the journey with iridescence. Now as a side note, I was typically like the boy in the picture hiding and not making the boldest move, or at least not until I was very certain our mischief would be undetected.

Jane Addams, writer on social reforms. -Photo by Wojtek Aleksandrowic


Mel said...

"Being old is a state of mind." I know 90-year-olds who are younger in mind and heart and spirit than many of the 30, 40 and 50-year-olds I've encountered. I pray to always be young at heart. When you say the boy in you is almost extinguished, I have to disagree. The enthusiasm and passion with which you search out literary treasures and artistic masterpieces belies the statement wholeheartedly. And as a side note, when you say you would wait until your mischief would be undetected, I have to chuckle because I was exactly the same way. I was a real drag to be around at slumber parties. :)

FCB said...

Thanks for the encouraging words Mel; yes, I hated getting caught, for fear of the "switch", which my sun tanned bare legs felt many a time. Oh the brutality of it :)