Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blessed Are The Children

Most of my time spent in San Miguel was in and around the town square (el jardin).    What I was looking for manifested itself in the smiling faces of the children living their lives right before my eyes.  None seem to have a care in the world.  Their lives are filled with joy even though most lack the "stuff" we've grown so fondly attached to.

What appears to be a mystery seems to be a fundamental truth.  Happiness has nothing to do with what we have.  It has everything to do with what we hold inside of ourselves.  Real happiness can be measured by the smile on faces.

The children of San Miguel possess something that I want.  They are content with the world they have.  Each moment is filled with something joyous.  There are daily festivals in their lives and causes for celebration.  It seems that from their infancy they partake in the celebration of life.

Happiness does not come in paychecks or in iPods and iPhones.  It comes in moments spent together beneath the ficus trees of the Jardin.  It comes with the walks to school with a brother or sister.  Happiness just is.  It's like air that surrounds the children and they just breathe it.  It is essential to their being.

Strangely missing are the fancy toys.  It's all about simple games of tag and futbol.  They don't need much to turn it into a full game.  They play in front of the church as the bells ring.  They play during the festivals and during the solemn lessons of their Catechism.

They play and I observe their joy.  I wonder about playing.  I wonder about simple things that make me happy.  What can I do without?  What would make me as happy as the children of San Miguel?

The bells begin to ring again and I see people respond to them but the children continue to play.  Listening to the bells only, seems to be an adult pass time.  Just for a moment, I want to forget the bells and play like the children carefree and hard.  As I picture the moment, the smile returns to my face.  I am happy with what I know.  It becomes clear to me that happiness requires letting go of some of the old thoughts.

For the moment, I choose to sit on a bench in the Jardin.  I choose to be happy and play like a child.  I enjoy simple things again.  The laughter comes and a smile slips on my face.  Truly the prophet was right "blessed are the children".  We must become like them again.  It's the key to our happiness.  We must allow the adventure and forget about the failures and fears of falling down.  Blessed are the children.