Friday, February 27, 2015

What would you say to your seven year old self?

Take care of yourself
— you never know when the world will need you.
Rabbi Hillel

So the Moon continues her companionable journey around our home planet, and we Trackers mark her path noticing the brightness or absence of her light during the night. We seem to be obsessed with keeping track. "When the world was new the Jade Emperor decided to create a calendar. He named the years of his calendar after twelve animals...He chose Rat for his cleverness.,Ox for his strength, Tiger for her fierceness, Rabbit for her gentleness, Dragon for his wisdom, Snake for her cunning, Horse for her swiftness, Ram for his courage, Monkey for her intelligence, Rooster for his beauty, Dog for her loyalty, and Pig for his good nature and common sense."

I wonder about the ways we human beings account for time, giving credence to what we remember and how we remember our history, and decide (or remember) our original magic. When I was in town the other day one of my usual stops is to walk up the short flight of steps into the post office. The glass door reflected the head and hair of someone with wildly white hair on end from the static. It took a few seconds to register. That was my head of hair.

An old friend I have known since we were kids growing up in Kuli'ou'ou Valley on O'ahu sent me a photo. "You and me at seven" the email said. The scan slowly opened that black and white picture. The leaves of a plumeria tree showed first. Then the tops of two dark haired heads. And finally the faces, shoulders, and then the feet -- two bare, two shod.

Me and 'Sandy' at seven years old

Sixty years later those kids have moved from the valley to make lives far from the Kawekiu Rise and Dalene Way neighborhoods. I peer deeply into the little girl who even then seemed serious (and she needed glasses). My friend 'Sandy' was always an inventor and fiddler with tools creating upside-down bicycles and becoming even more facile with his hands. As 'Sandy' and I have renewed an old friendship and kept in touch via email I was incredibly comforted to write him one day, "I have always loved writing and daydreaming. And now, I get to do that all the time." To have a friend after nearly seventy years ...

Rabbi Hillel is right. I would look into that little girl's eyes and tell her, "Take care of yourself-- You never know when the world will need you."

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