Growing up, the youngest of the roving neighbourhood brood, I often felt desperate to keep up. At about age 5, before we moved from that old, two storey, looming drafty house with the pine green trim, I was embroiled in treacherous games with the big kids. Hide and Seek was one such game. I didn't play the usual 5 yr old brand of closing my own eyes, only half hidden by a bush, legs still obviously sticking out!
I played to win.
A long time ago, in a land far, far away, children were simply not supervised, coddled and duct-taped to couches, while holding techie gadgets that hadn't even been dreamed up yet. No, they balanced eggs on spoons while madly running about and tripped recklessly through muddy three legged races, saddled to their snotty nosed neighbour. Playing always happened outdoors.
The trees were our companions and play structures. Rather than sunscreen, we found shade.
In my 'hood, the other kids were older, taller, faster—I knew I was at a disadvantage. I realized one way to remain untouchable in this game, was not to go under, or in, or behind, but rather...UP.
And so I did.
When the time to hide arrived and we ran in opposite directions, I climbed the wood pile to the lean too, reached for the sloping garage roof, from where, a bit of another s t r e t c h and scramble, I could just make it to the porch of our very steep roof via an obliging oak tree.
I adored that view. I earned it. I owned it.
Lying flat on my soft belly so as not to be spotted, I would watch the tallest boys and smartest girls circle the houses and wander the back-lane, until they were far enough away, and I could scuttle down unseen, just enough time to find home-free, safe and sound! Victorious.
They never figured out how I did it and they hated that fact. And I never told. I felt like a puffed up colourful bird, chest out, confident and strong.
It makes me gulp in fear and wonder now, thinking about it. I am just back from a recent visit where I drove by that looming old house and I can tell you confidently, I wouldn't climb it today.
That childhood discovery of a bird's eye view taught me the simple joys of a breeze blowing through my messy hair and the hidden power of raising your perspective, changing your vantage point, heading UPward.
Hide and seek was my secret glee.
A lifelong love of hiking to vistas was cemented in that childhood game. To this day, when I feel stuck, stagnant, or drained I walk, drive or climb to higher ground, to lift and open my thinking, my energy, my horizon. IT seems to reconnect me with that young confidence we all have as small, yet mighty children. To remind me of what we can accomplish when we know no fear. I had no fear of what might happen during my crazy climbs because I was too young to understand or care. What a blissful state to realign with, imagining only possibility. Your eye only on the goal. The opportunity for wind in your hair and a tremendous sense of joy and pride.
May you find a worthy view and feel your own joy rising in this new year ahead. What's your childhood confident spot?
Have a yummy and surprising new year and don't forget to scare yourself!