I remember my first walk down an old dirt road. It was the place where my innocence was born and my imagination was without boundaries. I believed in the joy of a life filled with laughter, friends, and my ever-present companion and best friend, my first dog. The adventures we would share together in those early years were many. Sadly, she would grow older, wiser, and leave this happy place many years before me leaving me to wonder why dogs live such a short life.
In time I would leave the farm with its vast fields and forest. I would grow older leaving the innocence of my childhood abruptly behind me. I would come to know the heartbreak of never being able to return to those days of unleashed imagination and the joy of my days of adventure with my beloved dog.
I took the long journey filled with the heartbreaking price of growing older and trying to find my place in life. Often, we are like broken crayons, bits and pieces of color left behind not yet a picture, not yet finished. The unpainted canvas bares a story untold, a dream unfulfilled. Can we put the broken crayons back in the box, can we unpaint the canvas, or unwrite the song, perhaps not.
It could be said that on our journey we traded innocence for the burden of wisdom. Knowledge may be our gift, yet the wanting to know of life’s secrets became the very thing that made us grow old. It seems that in the end, we give up our wisdom for the innocence that we once knew and become childlike. It is said at the end of our time we return to the place we came from a place where the light begins and where it returns.
In the end, the wayfarer must return home, the pilgrim must end his journey, and the old man in me must sit in the old rocking chair with his hound dog lying by his side and contemplate his return to innocence, after all, we spent a lifetime walking toward the light we remembered from birth.