When I was a child, Mom and Dad would wipe my nose and band-aid my wounds. I’d sleep in their bed and huddle between the warm bodies that protected me from the monsters and goblins who threatened my every-night’s existence. They’d feed and clothe me in ways that suggested security was omnipresent.
By eight years old, I wanted to be an astronaut. Those puffy white spacesuits with the silvery attachments that apparently allowed one to travel through the galaxy with reckless abandon. I imagined myself racing comets and landing on oddly-shaped asteroids and dropping in on alien households for a quick bite.
At age twelve, I turned my attention to athletics, the rackets and bats and balls calling to me with the latent possibility of heroism inherent in every throw or kick. Practicing against playground walls, I’d envision those cliché transformative moments when the clock was running out and the world’s survival rested upon my performance, and then with a prodigious swing, watch as the unbridled enthusiasm of youth launched a valiant drive into the bleachers to win the game.
In my eighteenth year, an ethical calamity sparked an inward journey to discover my fundamental beliefs as a man. Addressing issues of political dissidence, moral imperatives, and the discovery of personal principles, life centered less around external stimulation than internal meditation. It was, in a word, a trial.
After a quarter century on the planet, academia finally intrigued me. Those leather-bound archives with the dusty scent and faded pages that bled the internal angst of long-deceased authors called to me in a way that your average Doctor-Without-Borders would understand. In cold mists beneath orange-tinted streetlights, I read alone, and absorbed.
By thirty-two, business interests took hold and I wanted to see the world, explore the globe and the cultural nuance of humanity’s various tribes. History, empathy and tradition -, thirteen year-old Ethiopian warlords, orphaned Tibetans, London liberals – all brought a new perspective to this man’s existence.
Now passing my fourth decade, I want for one thing…
…to be a child again.