I have to admit that I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately. I think the days off from school have gotten to me. I can remember mornings of bouncing into my Mom & Dad’s bedroom with crazy morning hair and pajamas still on, waiting hopefully to see if school had been cancelled. Memories of playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, building forts with friends, and making snow ice cream to share with my neighborhood buddies have resurfaced, causing some wistfulness. I spent some time yesterday going through my old photo albums, scanning the long-forgotten faces of my youth, the sights I have been so blessed to see, and the expressions of my teenage face. When I was done, my only thought was, “Man, things were so uncomplicated back then.” In every picture my face reveals EXACTLY what I was thinking in that moment. Sometimes annoyance, but mostly sheer, unadulterated joy. Joy for being alive, for having amazing friends, for everything! In every picture there is a sparkle in my eyes that unfortunately has waned over the passing years.
How often do we look at ourselves in recent pictures and think, “Wow, I look so happy. Not smiling for the camera happy, but I just won the lottery happy.” Shots are usually staged and smiles are often terse. I think a lot of the joy in those days gone by was simply excitement for the future. Everything was such a mystery, waiting to be revealed in each new day. That mystery, for the most part, has been unraveled, and its solving has taken its toll. Along the way we discovered our share of loss, pain, responsibility, and tedious routine. Now pictures that capture a moment of that elusive twinkle are worth a thousand posed shots. I long for more of those moments, seeing the world through a child’s marveling eyes. As I looked out last night over the perfect blanket of snow, still fresh and pure, I felt a sense of peace and a bit of wonderment, a little youthful perspective. Seeing as I’m trapped inside again today, it just might be the perfect day to find a little sparkle. Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows anyone?