I was reading one of Julia Cameron’s essays in The Sound of Paper titled, “Befriending Time.”
There is something about this word combination, befriending time – befriending the moment, that made me smile. Cameron writes how time, like a dictator, pushes aside and smothers into the background rich and plentiful details daily surrounding us. But even so, she insists we can befriend time. As if we are taking a few moments to catch up with a friend, we can slip away from our busy-ness and intimately connect to the moment, connect to that specific time. She encourages us to open up and absorb the sights, sounds, smells, and impressions of life around us, and as we do we fuel our creativity. We become friends with that moment of life; we come alive.
And I smiled because it reminded me of a recent walk with my five year old friend, Kailani. We took a mini-hike along the Cape Falcon trail. I had picked her up for the afternoon and we were going to play super heroes (Wonder Woman and Bat Girl) at my house, braid her hair, and fill up coloring book pages. The hike was a spontaneous last minute decision as we loaded into the car. She had on her new pink rain boots that flashed a sparkly light each time she set her heel down, purplish-pink paisley leggings, and a brand new white sweater appliquéd with a black Scottish terrier on the front. She was also wearing a good sized tiara. Not typical hiking gear, but oh so Kailani.
We held hands as we traipsed along and chatted about all sorts of five year old things. Kailani is a thinker with a delightful and sophisticated vocabulary, and what we talked about most was the current experience we were enjoying, spawned from her observations. Since she is so much shorter and closer to the earth, she was continually pointing out to me her discoveries. And I realized, how much wisdom we can enjoy through these little people, still closely tethered to rich details hiding on the underside of leaves or tucked into tight, mossy carpets.
She was the one who spotted the racing black beetles, one dull the other shiny; the dime sized mushrooms erect and stubborn and charming in their teensy-ness. She stopped us on the bridge to listen, to listen as the rivulet of water hid beneath the skunk cabbage but sang to us never-the-less.
Cameron associates creativity with child-like wonder and reminds us how essential to living are these primal friendships with the moment.
And what a gifted way to befriend time, than through the magical friendship of a child.