I am practicing the art of wonderment. As a child I remember days filled with bare feet and dirty hands, chasing grasshoppers in the tall grass, and eating blackberries off wild vines that magically grew in our tiny back yard. Hours spent wondering and wandering about the miraculous nature of things. What has happened to that girl? The girl who sat in the middle of the garden catching bugs? Who picked flowers, sang loudly and walked around proudly—shirt off—just like one of the boys. She tested boundaries and she pressed her luck. She was soft, brave and fierce. Nights have been spent with her running around in my dreams, spinning and laughing, leaving her joy to echo into my daytime hours. She has become ever present, as I pass by a salt marsh, or field with tall grasses shifting in the wind. Nature is winking at me. Inviting me to come and play.

Why don’t I go and indulge? Take a few minutes away to reconnect? Wait, why did I say indulge? Is that how I think of it? Time spent in nature is an indulgence? Maybe, that is part of the problem. When I was six, I had the gift of freedom to explore. I was not restricted by time or responsibilities. Instead, I was encouraged to play and spend time outside. Over the years, my life has pulled me in directions of work, lists and appointments. My time is spent indoors away from the sun and fresh air. I feel the tug inside my body on days I am closed up for too long. I become fidgety and downright irritable.

I imagine being folded into the landscape, carried away by the sea, or spiraling downward from the branch that has finally let me go. It is embedded in my DNA, a part of my inner being, to be rooted in nature. This is my truth. Wisdom of my six-year-old-self. She listened to her internal cadence, dug deeply and drank in all that there was. She was born knowing this and so was I.

It is time to return to who I was and who I am meant to be. To practice the art of creating space for childlike wonderment. Not to indulge, but to practice my god given right to have a part of the day that is mine. It can be ten minutes or an hour, as long as they are mine to spend. I will be bold and unapologetic channeling my inner six-year-old. Yeah, she is still there, teaching me how to be strong. Teaching me how to be me.

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