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2022 Jan

Looking Through a Child's Eyes

Why we should all reconnect with our childhood sense of wonder

A few years ago Peter and I had the good fortune to visit Chile. We learned a lot about this beautiful country, including one of its most famous poets, Pablo Neruda.

Before our trip, I’d probably read a poem or two of his but didn’t know much about him. One cool, blustery day we visited his house on Chile’s rugged coastline. Called Isla Negra, the home sits high on a cliff overlooking the sea. We toured the home, which was beautiful, yet simple and unpretentious, and one of the things that struck me instantly was how Pablo managed to maintain an element of fun in his life until he died at age 69.

For example, throughout his home were toys from his childhood along with collections of shells and insects. Art was everywhere. His home was a manifestation of his childlike wonder: one living room was shaped like a ship, another looked like the inside of a train car. You could tell he enjoyed life and lived each day to the fullest.

I am remembering Pablo as I look forward to the new year and visualize what the year will hold for me. I’d like to follow Pablo’s example and see the world through a child’s eyes. I’d like to play more and laugh more and not take things so seriously.

Most of all, as someone who tends to like being in control, I’d like to relinquish control more often and let the leaves blow in the wind whichever way they want to go. Maybe I’ll follow them to see where they land.

Hope your new year is full of blessings, good health, and lots of laughter. Here’s an excerpt from a poem Pablo wrote called “Her Laughter:”

“…when your laughter enters/it rises to the sky seeking me/and it opens for me all/the doors of life.”

Stay inspired, my friends.

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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