I think possibly one of the greatest things about being a conscious human is the never-expiring ability to surprise yourself. To allow something wonderful and invigorating to land in your lap, even after years of acknowledging the death of exactly that thing. You are never done with things. Joy is always several sensations away.
At age 23 in Madison, I experienced a spring and a summer when something opened up in the skies and everything shifted. I experienced the most intoxicating and vibrant summer I had had since being a kid...and yes, there were some factors, such as the fact that I was more often intoxicated than I ever have been since or before (sorry mom)-but truly there was some unexplainable factor outside of the obvious---daily things became magical. Walking down a street in springtime left me flooded and trembling with euphoria and expectation. Of course, I was also experiencing a new exciting relationship with a person who was completely unlike anyone I'd known--a Midwesterner who had nothing Midwest-nice about him---a rather gloomy artistic person---and this too bolstered this sense of amazement in me. I was also completely broke and living off of food stamps and spending most of my hard-earned AmeriCorps stipend on beer and dill pickle chips, and working 10 hour days of direct service with pre-schoolers. Up at 6 am every morning and out past midnight each night on a healing ACL tear...I don't know how I did it and probably couldn't have if I didn't have that unearthly force of euphoria and adventure propelling me onward...
Three years later, I was a 'seasoned' individual with two years of rather dodgy life experience in Sub-Saharan Africa to add to my maturity (?). I'd figured that I was unfortunately done with the sensations of unexpected joy, glorious expectation, euphoria.... What a silly thing, I can think now-6 months past this particular moment--that I was so ready to admit that my childhood and life's magic was done for me.
Childhood is never finished. It's the one thing I'm determined to roll up and cram into my messenger bag and carry around with me every day. Childhood is the ability to let magic into your life, no matter your age or stage of life. It's letting yourself fall into large wonderful holes that lead to other worlds, tripping onto love quite suddenly, dancing on snowy streets with a bright winter sun on your face. Childhood doesn't happen every day and every moment. But, it's there with you always, ready to surprise you with its incredibly light joy.