June 23, 2016

Enjoy the Ride

When my sons were small they frequently expressed the desire to be grown-up. I would gently encourage them to enjoy the freedom of their youth.

Of course, they didn't comprehend what carefree was--it was all they knew, and one cannot know what they do not know.

Early in their manhood they began to know and would sometimes lament not completely appreciating, thereby not fully living out, their youthful unencumbrance.

I have since overheard them counseling their nephews not to rush to the finish line of youth.

I suggest the same for Generation Xers and Millennials in a hurry to "dethrone" (by various means) their adjacent previous generation, and their elders who have paid dues and have the scars, pains, and tribulation in witness thereof.

When you arrive here, when it's your turn, you will be unable to return to now. Enjoy the ride.

And now, the poem that inspired these thoughts.

Two Little Boys

Two little boys sit on the porch
Swinging their legs in tune with the wind
Happily chatting away and laughing
I can not hear what amuses them
But I am most certain it is not tomorrow.

There was a time when I too laughed thus:
It was either the kite in the sky,
A plane flying past,
A flower dancing with the wind,
Or the moon surrounded by it luminous children,
All evicted a smile from me.

Little boys, do not grow up please
Hardship and trouble await you
Life would never return that which it takes from you
It will sap your youth and still come for your breath.

Look upon nature little boys and smile
The unexplored world is a terrible one
Be content with innocence.
Childhood only comes once in a lifetime
Let not tomorrow bother you young ones
Be content with today and look upon it with a smile.

(C) Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy 2016

Image: Vivian Maier, New York, Two Boys With Hand On Shoulder, 1955.

Z.: Little boys, what are your names? How old are you? What's your favorite color?

For a long time, I have been troubled by the pace at which the system prods our children to grow up faster than the bodies, and emotional and intellectual development can support. Why, even the hormones in modern food causes girls to develop breasts much sooner than they used to decades ago.

None of us are going to get out of here alive. Why are we rushing to the grave?!

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