How wonderful to take this little breather. I wanted a bit of time to play at the end of the year, and I've been having it.
Beginning with six days in Chicago, where I learned I can still handle 15 degree weather with 60 mile per hour winds. Walking in such weather, I mean. Into the wind. No, my face didn't freeze off. I was a little scared I might have gone a bit soft here in SoCal, but it isn't so!
Then I hiked in my beloved Griffith Park yesterday for an hour, straight up to Dante's Peak, the highest point. The trails I used to hike were closed for a while after the big fire in the park last May. I was in Chicago for my grandmother's funeral, already in mourning, and then I see my beautiful park burning up on TV. Thankfully it's fine, most trails are open, and it is still beautiful even though there are lots of blackened trees and ground.
Today Noel and I went ice skating in Pershing Square, in downtown LA. We were finally allowed onto the ice in badly fitting rental skates with about 200 other people, most of them children. I spent my 20 or so minutes on the ice just trying to remain vertical, mostly successfully.
The thing I noticed the most today was the huge smiles on the faces of the children skating. Most of them fell a lot, but they were having so much fun! Faces filled with sheer joy. Part of it was just being there and doing this thing NOW. I overheard one little girl as she tried to skate past me while keeping a death grip on the railing, "I'm not good at this!". She looked like a very serious 7 year old, and she was having fun. It was all that mattered to her.
Ever since I was a child, I noticed the disparity between children and adults. It looked to me like many adults in my world were not having much fun. I couldn't identify with them. I often wished they would decide to lighten up already. I learned to have fun without them. And I never once believed any of them when they would tell me how hard it was to grow up and become an adult.
I couldn't wait to do that. It looked like freedom to me: I could travel by myself, go places I wanted, create what I liked, and go out all night. I could have my own apartment and decorate it any way I liked. I could sleep late, read books all day, and leave a big mess to clean up later when I felt like it. Didn't grown-ups know how good they had it? I cherished and loved being around the ones who still understood the secret to having fun.
How about you, do you have fun? What is fun for you, and how would you like to enjoy yourself in 2008?
"Magical Fire Sea" 2006 40"x32" at kriscahill.com