30. The Sense of Beauty

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When my sister and I were children we used to enjoy turning somersaults down this big grassy hill in the mountains of North Carolina. The hill was actually the fairway of a par 4 golf hole at a nearby course. And in the cool of the late afternoon — when all the golfers had finished – we’d start at the top of the hill and flip head-over-toe in a succession of somersaults, until finally we reached the bottom. Walking back up the hill wasn’t nearly as much fun as coming down. But one time down was never enough. When we made it back to the top, we’d start again.

There’s something about somersaults, turning cart-wheels, running, jumping and skipping that makes a child feel free as the wind. I consider them to be the dances of children — their particular ways of celebrating life.

I remember exactly how it felt to roll down that hill in the moist grass. Even today when I smell freshly mown grass, I think about those wonderful somersaults and the ultimate freedom of my childhood years. It’s good to have known that feeling. There’s a place in my soul where the felicity of those childhood years remains untarnished.

Days 30-31 Guide

Mentally sort through your experiences and select a single time and place where you felt totally free — no bothers or concern, no worries or fear or tomorrow. Use the memory of that time to heighten your senses and try then to bring the light of that moment into the present. It’s important to never forget the sense of wonderful times. Remember the sights, the sounds and the tastes of joy. Never let them go.

© 2006, Levi Hill

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