"Children are the hands by which
we take hold of heaven." - Henry Ward Beecher
Photograph by Brassaï (pseudonym of Gyula Halász) Children Playing In The Luxembourg Garden, 1930 French Ministry of Culture, Paris.
I had the immense pleasure of spending an afternoon a few years ago in the very spot where this photo was taken in 1930, Le Jardin du Luxembourg on the grounds of the Palais du Luxembourg in the heart of Paris. Well, it was more than a few year ago, more like two decades ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.
The mood captured by Brassaï in the early 20th century was the same...families, children, and artists spending a lovely day contemplating the beauty of their surroundings. The style of dress was definitely different (don't we love this young lady's crisp white cotton dress and the young man's short pants and natty cap?), but the relaxed, easy atmosphere was unchanged.
Children crowded around the perimeter of the garden's pool, launching their paper sailing boats and watching them glide across. When I was there, a few progressive parents were launching radio controlled miniature boats for their children, which drew quite a bit of attention and an equal number of frowns from the old guard Parisians. I wonder what is sailing on those waters today.
Children get it, don't they? They aren't caught up in the angst of the day. A hug and a cookie and a great paper boat are just about all they need for a perfect afternoon.
Whenever I get stuck in a cycle of angst, it seems there has always been a child to lead me out of it with the simplest yet most profound wisdom. Once upon a time it was my brothers and twin sister who could shift my focus from tears to laughter. Later, a couple of very special nieces filled that job with their delightful companionship. Before I knew it, I had four very wise and beautiful children of my own to bring that wisdom pouring in each and every day.
Today, I'm blessed to live with two grandchildren who possess extraordinary powers of perception and wisdom and light.
They show me how simple and yet profoundly important it is to say I love you to the people who matter to us, and putting it in writing is a great way to leave a lasting impression. I highly recommend it.
Much love to anyone who reads this today...I am blessed to have you in my life.
Billy Joel sings "Lullaby" (Good Night, My Angel)