In my favorite photo of myself there I am, gleefully hugging my three year old knees while sitting on a slatted wooden bench on a dock which floats atop a pristine lake. Priest Lake. I’m wearing my brother’s hand-me-down jeans, rolled at the cuff, and held up with a tiny, brown, leather belt. A red tucked in t-shirt, under a little unbuttoned brown corduroy jacket, comfortably hugs my petite body. Red-plaid canvas Mary-Jane style shoes cover red socks which keep my tapping feet dry and warm. A ‘swimmer’s cut’ bob of naturally red and gold highlighted brown hair is lifted and mussed by the wind which also whips the water into white caps.
Dark, heavy, gray-black clouds advance toward the pebbly shoreline casting asymmetrical black shadows across the clear lake. Rain is imminent. The water is cold, but I am not.
My dimple-cheeked face wears the most free, wide, happy, excited grin imaginable, most of my perfect pearly-white baby teeth showing. My eyes are full of ecstasy! My countenance wears the look of exhilarated watchfulness. Pure joy and freedom.
This is the true me.
I haven’t been me, since I was three.
But I’m on my way back. And the way back is forward. And the me I am becoming knowingly appreciates the me that I was, far deeper than a three year old ever can.
Life is full of wonder in its inner connectedness.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ~~~~~T. S. Eliot