Thursday, January 19, 2012

Be still my bleeding heart.

At four years of age I recall having a sense of wonderment and fulfillment when I escaped the confines of our modest home in order to explore our neighborhood. Alone.

The family story about these occasions involve me escaping my bedroom in the early mornings in order to galavant, unescorted, around my downtown Toronto 'hood (Coxwell and Danforth). One particularly notable occasion involves me using a screwdriver in order to pry open the lock my parents had put (in desperation) on my bedroom the front door. These early morning escapades must have scared the bejesus out of my parents. Not in a 2012 way though. This was 1971, in the era before mass publicized child abductions. Four year olds were accorded a lot more intelligence and street smarts back then.

I have no recollection of guile when performing these Houdini like efforts. What I recall, with pristine clarity, is the glorious feeling of freedom that I had to observe and marvel at the world around me. One particularly crystal clear memory from that time involves me staring at what I now know is a bleeding heart plant that was in a neighbour's backyard. I couldn't tell you now if I stared for a minute or an hour. A plant that grows pretty pink hearts. Kinda incredible isn't it? I still think so.

In fact, I can tell you that each and every bleeding heart plant that I have seen in the subsequent 40 years has brought a smile to my face due to the recollection of the joy and marvel I experienced as a four year old seeing it for the first time.

And now, when my heart is seemingly bleeding from the despairs and regrets that are searing through my middle age, I can turn to my four year old self and remember that I will always have the ability to view the world with long as I 'escape' whatever is holding me back. And if I had the smarts to figure out how to do this at four years of age, I most certainly can do so at 44.


  1. Besutiful post. And it was the front door that had the extra bolts put in (at the top) and you pulled over a small table and put a chair on top of it and climbed up so you could attack the bolt with your tools.
    Successfully, of course.


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