I am five. Chronologically, I am five. Inside, I feel as old as I’ll ever be.
I am free of the burdens and distractions that surround me, and often, alone.
I have a sense of something I can’t quite articulate – purpose, mingled with wisdom; trust, and a connection larger than me.
I do not question whether I am wearing the right clothes for my figure, or if my hair suits my face. I do not worry about where the money for the next bill is going to come from. I seldom wonder if what I say might offend or is relevant at all.
At five, I live honestly; authentically. I am all that I’ll ever be: undefined, yet confident. I am alive for a reason. I feel it.
All I have to do is be patient and wait for life to unfold.
My true self.
Half a life time later, I still remember her: that girl with such a full future ahead of her. Such an innocent.
Like a treasure, she is buried within me, holding space. I look for her in the mirror, but her light no longer shines in my eyes. I search for her in the clutter that has become my mind, yet her clarity eludes me. In the eyes of others, I am mother, friend, teacher, lover, and adviser, but not innocence; never my true self.
So, I seek to ignite that sense of self, through the inspiration that is my granddaughter. Her smiles, her tears, her constant curiosity and unabashed response to life is a reminder: somewhere in all of us there is a simplicity of being that defies any other reality. Our true self.