Simpler Times

It feels like a lifetime ago when I was a young child. Most of us can probably recall this as a time that we look back on with such fondness!

One memory that I recalled, when taking a walk the other day, was when I used to just sit outside picking the ever popular, Red Clover flower (actually a weed) and tasting the sweet flavor it possesses. I have no idea if I was told that I could pick off the tops and get a sweet taste from it but I did and actually very often.

I now live out by country roads with fields and such, so when taking a walk, it allows for time to look around and take in my surroundings. This is something that’s hard to do on a daily basis, due to the daily hustle. When looking down and noticing the bloom of, one of many, flowering weeds, I couldn’t help but become swept away in memories of my past.

My childhood was not so easy, let’s say. I was raised in an abusive home led by an alcoholic father. I’m not going to dive into my life story but my sister, brother and I had a hard childhood. We were poor, lived in an old farm house, in the country and spent most of the time running around outside playing with each other or using our imaginations to make our own fun. There were no days at the theme or water park, time spent at the mall or movies, just me and my siblings with the outdoors at our disposal.

This is where I would spend a lot of my time exploring nature and why I can recall, with such vivid memory and detail, of when I would sit around eating the tops of the Red Clover. For me, it was a small piece of joy I could get for myself amidst a time of fear and uncertainty. I could take something that would grow on its own, without any effort from me, that was just available and turn it into a treat, which for a small child is so awarding.

I no longer find myself sitting around outside, with time to kill, to just be. I’m pretty certain that if I did, I wouldn’t be able to stop my mind from running through all the things I should be doing instead. I also don’t think I would get the same joy out of taking one of those weeds and putting it into my mouth. I’m sure I’m not alone here, that we no longer can achieve the same amount of joy, from such simple things, from our youth. If you think back on something similar in your childhood, I’m sure that it’s long lost it’s meaning to you now.

Back to the other day, during my walk, I wonder why didn’t I stop, pick up that Red Clover flower and again taste it? Why couldn’t I just take a moment, out of my day, and sit and just be? I know why, I know that it’s so hard to just stop and enjoy simple things, without the feeling of guilt setting in and pressing down on me in that constant way of life, that I have become accustomed to. I know that even if I told myself I could do it, it still wouldn’t change that inevitable feeling.

Guilt has become such a strong predictor and instigator in my life, whether it be the ever annoying mom guilt, of not ever doing enough or being good enough. I guess the question here is, who’s on the other end of this scenario, If i’m on the receiving end who’s the one dishing it out? Maybe thinking about this more logically and understanding, that I’m the commonality here.

Life should really be where such joy, can come from such simple things. That not only can we just get back to focusing more on the present, our surroundings and what’s really important but to actually take the time out and immerse ourselves in the moment. In another 20 or so years, am I going to look back with any such fondness or will I keep walking through each day, never taking any time to just sit and be?

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