Hop, Skip, and a Jump!

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Hop, Skip, and a Jump!

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.
-Danny Kaye

Even though there has been snow on the ground for the past few weeks, a true delight for me, something inside of me is whispering, “Spring!” Are there many clues that spring is on its way? Definitely not—not in this cold and slush. And yet, as I look at the stars, crystal clear in the night air, and I watch the stately magnolia out my window, I anticipate that spring is on its way.

Do you remember the anticipation you felt as a child before something “new” happened? Something that you had never experienced before, or maybe something that you knew you loved and it only happened once in a great while? Your anticipation, a delightful pressure building up inside, knowing that in a little while you would be a part of something beyond your knowing…wondrous. Perhaps it was like waiting for the beautiful curtain at our Hult Performing Arts Center to slowly open, revealing the magic and mystery of music and motion. Exquisite agony!

Do you remember when life was as easy as a hop, a skip, and a jump? When jumping right in the center of a puddle was the way to go, instead of carefully walking around it? Back when the secrets you had with your best friends were the essence of camaraderie and trust? Can you remember when you believed your world was a magical, mysterious place to explore and investigate with awe and delight? Has that curious delight and anticipation been missing from your life for a while? It is amazing that over the years we seem to learn to back away from so much of what life has to offer. I know we have what we think at the time are “good reasons” for becoming very cautious. Isn’t one of the mantras we hear our parents say in childhood, “Be careful!”?

We are taught that the world is unsafe or uncomfortable, and we have experiences that validate those beliefs. They become very real in our own experience. We start to spend our time figuring out how to avoid the pain and how to be comfortable. That’s all well and good at the time; it kept us safe and out of trouble. The sad part is that as we grow and increase our ability to be resourceful in the world, we still operate as if we didn’t have those resources and we keep being more careful than we need to be. We grow up thinking that is how “life” has to be, painting ourselves slowly into a drab corner, avoiding the pain.

Something I am realizing right now is how much pain we create for ourselves by avoiding the pain! I have stopped myself so many times in my life saying no to an action that just might, possibly, could, or perhaps sometime would under certain circumstances, hurt me. Sounds like a certain ticket to isolation and boredom!

Maybe it’s time for us to look to the children so we can remember ourselves. Are you ready for something new in your life? Something like more fun and excitement, more meaning and inspiration? Could it be that it is as easy as “a hop, a skip, and a jump,” right into the middle of…?

Excitement is red.
It tastes like fresh baked cookies.
It sounds like people talking,
And it sounds like a forest.
Excitement looks like when somebody gets
an “A” on their paper.
It makes me feel like I’m ready for something.
—Christine Shevlin
Orchard Hill Elementary


1. Remember the anticipation you felt as a child before something “new” and good happened? Something that you had never experienced before, or maybe something that you knew you loved and it only happened once in a great while, like going to the circus? How would you describe this feeling of anticipation?

2. What were the events you looked forward to most as a kid? Were you alone or with others?

3. What do you want to look forward to now that will fill you with delicious an- ticipation? Go for it!

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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