Thursday, February 01, 2007

Skiing, Kids, and Priests

Tom Crum is, among other things, a ski instructor in Aspen, Colorado. Here is an excerpt from his book, "Journey to Center."

"I was teaching a group of five-year-olds one day. 'Teaching' means jump-the-bumps with different animal sounds on the way down and belting out 'Little Bunny Foo-Foo' on the chair-lift riding back up. On one particular 'Big Bear' jump, a little pigtailed munchkin came flying off the lip making perfect redeep frog sounds. The next thing I knew, two skis complete with boots attached were racing toward me in perfect parallel, but there was no skier! Just a ghost downhiller whizzing past me and disappearing into the trees below. I looked back uphill and there was the little girl, on her back with her stockinged feet raised to the heavens, focusing happily on catching snowflakes with her tongue. Are we having fun or what?"

I LOVE that story! What a picture of pure freedom, living in the moment!

Crum again:

"When philosopher-priest Thomas Merton was a young man, he found himself eating scrambled eggs with his friends after another one of his many all-night parties of drinking, smoking, and idle talk. The gnawing desire to do something more to create value from the clutter and debris of his life suddenly broke through. An idea came to him with great clarity, and he stated, amidst the eggs, coffee, and smoke, 'You know, I think I ought to enter a monastery and become a priest.' Many of us have made similar statements under the influence of guilt or spirit. The incredible thing is that Thomas Merton put out his cigarette and did it."

"Change does not take time, it takes commitment."


Pam said...

Commitment must be what makes change so difficult, huh? It's so easy to want the change, or the results that would come from the change, but the work required to make that change... *sigh*

The older I get, the more I realize that enjoying the moment can be an ordeal too. Or, I turn it into an ordeal... wading through all the distractions in life, and yet sometimes the distractions are the very thing I should be enjoying!

Cherie said...

Oy, indeed.


I have to admit that the story about little girl with her feet in the air sparked a change in me years ago. See, I LOVED being a little kid! I loved being outside, I loved snow and rain and waterfalls, storms and lakes and babies. I mean, I would tremble with excitement at those things and more. When I read that story it brought back the joy I had and I realized still would have, if I just let it out of the box I'd locked it in, marked, "Responsible Adult: Act Your Age."

And now, that joy is restored thanks to that simple little story, and it has made all the difference. Go figure?!?

I'm hoping it will encourage others as well.

Thanks for the candid insightful feedback, Pam.

annie said...

Perfect words for today! Thanks, Cherie!

Ashley said...

And perfect words for the weekend. IN THE MOMENT. Kids are the best teachers!