when i grow up i want to be a tree

adulthood through the eyes of a grown child

To many of us unfortunately, childhood is a magical word that sounds like chimes, remotely swinging in the wind of too many yesterdays to count. Childhood is supposed to be that time when your life is safely protected by that bubble of sweet dreams, that slowly ends up resorbing at the contact of your first experience of what is supposed to be its exact opposite : adulthood.

‘Why are you giggling for no reason?’ ‘You are being such a baby.’ ‘You can’t do it because grown ups said so.’ ‘When you’re old enough you will do all you want, not now.’ Who doesn’t remember hearing at least one of those phrases as a child and wishing time would just fly by fast?

This, I call, the beginning of the end of childhood. Soon indeed, we stop laughing. Maybe we grow a little bit more cynical because adults always doubt anything. We act more cautiously, we move more slowly. We even start crafting what adults call : Big dreams. Innocence gets silenced and ego awakens. We become an angry teenager later to grow into a jaded adult.

What happened to us? Before long we are caught up in an ugly marriage or single, selfish and eager to make up for what life supposedly owes us. Being around children then becomes extremely awkward because it stirs back memories and we remember that we too were once convinced, we were absolutely lovable and enough, just because we existed. What a pity. Or maybe we have bought into the lie of thinking that adulthood was about a certain attitude, when it’s really just a bunch of distorted images imagined by a bunch of big kids, who are still looking for their place in the world, while trapped into this old body..

At this pace, it won’t be long until we start asking ourselves existential questions, like what is even our purpose here in the first place? My opinion is that if we were meant to be children all of our life, then we would always stay young and vulnerable and we would never grow old physically. Yet no matter what, time continue to pass by and our physical appearance changes. We go through stages.

So what is it about childhood then ? Adults who speak of an inner child wouldn’t say that childhood is just another stage. I don’t think childhood is just another stage. I think we come into this world as counsciousness in its purest form and while we grow and we get more and more lost in the alleys of a material world, the purity we had back then is still there to remind us of what we really are. We come into this world to grow and learn lessons, we meet many souls on their path to their lessons and we playfully engage with them. That to me is the beauty of the human experience. To become an adult then means to become a conscious guardian to that soul. ‘Above all else, guard your heart..’ we are reminded.

Maybe it’s not so much about being an adult, but being a guardian. A guardian to our soul, a guardian to the world, a guardian to other souls, a guardian to nature. For some reason when I think of adulthood now, I envision a tree, expanding its branches high up to give food and shelter to an ecosystem of living creatures. I think of a tree because of its deep roots, firmly planted in the soil. Unwavering. What if as kids we had been given that vision? What if we had been told to be just like trees? Maybe we would have gotten more time to look at the beauty of a sky full of stars, while keeping our feet on the ground. Maybe that is why there is actually a thing called a family tree. Maybe the tree is the secret itself?

I am often asked why I love, what my grown up friends jokingly call, ‘the bush’. I love the bush because it’s raw and it’s real. It has no false pretenses and it gives generously of itself, regardless of who is taking. It does not question its own existence if it doesn’t get gratitude in return, yet somehow it always blossoms. And it just is. And that to me is adulthood.

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