Eating Ice Cream and the Wisdom of a Child…

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My grandson Nicholas loves to ride bikes with me. Now I’ve found that if you’re looking for a real aerobic workout, or in a hurry to get somewhere, Nicholas is not the riding partner you want. But if you enjoy stopping at all the cool places along the river to crouch on the rocks and look for fish and turtles, sail sticks and throw stones, then he’s your man. And if you want a soothing, meditative opportunity, forget it. This child never stops talking!

The other day we went for a long ride on the bike trail in Fort Collins, conveniently past the Dairy Queen. We ordered cones, mine plain vanilla and Nicholas’ dipped in cherry, and found a cozy spot next to the river to eat them. Now I truly enjoyed my cone. (Because of the weight gremlin, I don’t usually get ice cream all that often, so this was a real treat.) But Nicholas, he really knows how to eat an ice cream cone! He had ice cream everywhere! On his face, dripping down his chin, all over his hands, down his shirt and in his lap. It was a hot day and he was on a mission to get as much ice cream as possible in his mouth before it melted. The best part of course was the cherry coating – Nick wasn’t about to miss a bit of that. He even had a red cherry spot on his nose!

I sat there laughing, as I watched him, thinking how free he was and how much fun he could find in the simplest thing; and how grown up we have become. Life is to be taken seriously…. work, save, invest, study, worry about the future, work some more. We rarely take time to just enjoy… the beautiful Colorado sunshine, the flow of the river, the sound the wind makes in the trees, the smile on a child’s face, the cool deliciousness of an ice cream cone.

Nicholas also likes to go for hikes with me. “Slow down Nana.” he says, as we explore the trails at the Environmental Learning Center. “You can’t see everything if you walk too fast!” Nicholas sees many things. He sees a face in the stump of a tree. He sees the essence in a piece of modern art. He sees his Auntie Kristi when she comes to visit him in spirit. Nicholas is my inspiration to slow down, to enjoy, to open my eyes and to see.

I read somewhere in one of the many books I have studied as I move along my spiritual journey that we are called Human Beings for a reason (as opposed to Human Doings). Sometimes that is all that is required of us, to just be. Be at peace, knowing that life is good and that the angels and Spirit are always with you, guiding you and supporting you on this journey we call life. Don’t take it too seriously. Walk leisurely so you can take it all in. Throw rocks in the river. And enjoy your ice cream with abandon!

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