“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
― Angela Schwindt
Through 2018/2019 I wrote a reflective piece as I explored the themes of the Fool archetype in the Tarot. My knowledge of the Tarot is limited but exploring the symbolism as it expressed itself in my life has helped me. In previous blogs I explored some basic meanings and there is any amount of information available on the deep symbolism of the Fool and the Tarot. Some basic meanings of the Fool card that seem relevant for this piece are: living in the present moment, childlike wonder and that we are guided by a higher Source. The Fool is that childlike adventurer aspect of ourselves. (Childlike as opposed to acting childish of course!) Reconnecting with that place in us of childlike wonder and innocence is an integral part of any healing journey. When we allow it expression we invite more freedom and wonder into our lives. As I was preparing this blog post last week, I had my monthly Hawaiian Philosophy and language class. We learned a Hawaiian proverb that seemed to fit into this piece.
A’ohe I pau ka ‘ike I ka halau ho’okahi’
It is a popular proverb that means: All knowledge is not taught in the same school. Or, one can learn from many sources.
Anyone who knows me knows that my children are among my wisest teachers. What better way is there to learn about childlike wonder and presence than from children? Over the years, I have learned so much from them. A conversation that I had with my youngest daughter some years ago is just one example.
I was getting ready to go somewhere with my daughters. It had been a busy morning and I hollered at both of them that it was time to go. I found Caoimhe aged about 6 years was sitting on a pile of clothes. She was dressed when I last checked but had changed her mind about what she wanted to wear… Many times!… The contents of her wardrobe were tossed on the floor and on her bed. I should explain that this was a regular occurrence, as was our running late. I should also explain that I don’t like to be late. To challenge that all my life I have had people around me for whom being on time is not a priority. It has become clear to me that I must try to relax on time-keeping thing to restore a healthy balance.
Anyway, by the time I got her dressed we were now very late and I was very stressed. I was brushing her hair and I was very upset and angry with her. ‘‘We are so late now. I told you to pick your outfit last night. You were dressed! It’s rude to be late ya know! We are late everywhere we go. Are you listening? Caoimhe voiced her thoughts. ‘There he is now looking in the window…”hello !”. ’ She was gazing out the window, not heeding a word I had to say. ‘What?’ I asked. ‘Look in the trees. Can you not see him? she asked. ‘Mr. Magpie looking in the window at us.’ I had to bend down to her level to see a magpie sitting high in the trees at the end of our garden. She shook her head and gave a deep sigh.
‘I knew it! Treasa was wrong. She said grown-ups are big so they can see more. But I said ‘Noooo, little children have little eyes and they can see the little things.’
Treasa was her minder at playschool and Caoimhe was very fond of her.
I felt put in my place and a bit stuck for a response. I was pulled into the present moment, that realm of childlike wonder and innocence. I kissed her on the top of the head. ‘Keep seeing the little things with your beautiful eyes, my love.’ She ran off to gather some toys she wanted to bring with her. I slowed my pace and stood in the quiet. ‘From the mouths of babes’ I thought. ‘What am I at?’
I don’t remember where we were going or how late we actually were. If we were late at all in the end, that is. But her words and the lesson like many others have resounded many times when I am losing the run of my ‘grown up’ self. Caught up with adult busyness and stresses of life at that time, it is easy to lose touch with what matters. As a result, we miss out on so many of those ‘little things.’ Thankfully with awareness and practice we can come back.