The Child In Us

The following is written by Frederick Beuchner, I read it in his book Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner:

We weren’t born yesterday. We are from New Jersey, or Nottingham. But we are also from somewhere else. We are from Oz, from Looking-Glass Land, from Narnia, from Middle Earth. If with part of ourselves we are men and women of the world and share the sad unbeliefs of the world, with a deeper part still, the part where our best dreams come from, it is as if we were indeed born yesterday, or almost yesterday, because we are also all of us children still.

 

thechildinus

 

No matter how forgotten and neglected, there is a child in all of us who is not just willing to believe in the possibility that maybe fairy tale are true after all but who is to some degree in touch with that truth. You pull the shade on the snow falling, white on white, and the child comes to life for a moment. There is a fragrance in the air, a certain passage of a song, an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book, the sound of somebody’s voice in the hall that makes your heart leap and fills your eyes with tears.

Who can say when or how it will be that something easters up out of the dimness to remind us of a time before we were born and after we will die? The child in us lives in a world where nothing is too familiar or unpromising to open up into the world where a path unwinds before our feet into a deep wood, and when that happens, neither the world we live in nor the world that lives in us can ever entirely be home again any more than it was home for Dorothy in the end either because in the Oz books the follow The Wizard, she keeps coming back again and again to Oz because Oz, not Kansas, is where her heart is, and the wizard turns out to be not a humbug but the greatest of all wizards after all.

  • Tim Johnson

    Dave – thank you for the phrase ‘something easters up out of the dimness’ – love that! There’s a hymn that has ‘In my soul an Easter morning…’ which always speaks life and possibility. Not usually a great fan of nouns as verbs (currently sick of Olympians wanting to ‘medal’ or ‘podium’) but quite taken by ‘easters.’

  • I thought the same thing when I read that sentence! Thanks Tim for reading.