In Missouri, our walk to school was a path through the woods meandering over a creek, past dogwoods, and near a perfect spot to catch tree frogs. We watched turtles do that amazing thing where they snorkel their own necks to keep their bodies submerged. We watched the trees flower like summer bells. Every day we were struck with it — the world. The way light broke against us. The race up that last rutted hill. For the twenty minutes we walked through the woods, we might have been going somewhere much cooler than the brick building where the principal thought it reasonable to yank a kid from line and wallop him in the hallway.
When I think of my childhood, I think of those walks in the morning. I think of the important distinction between childlike and childish. Why would we build lives around our grievances when we might build them around our delight? I drank my coffee in the car yesterday and the sun kicked through the trees and slipped on the ice and burst the windshield. The dust lit up. And I was struck by it again. Pine needles and light. This wondrous world. Twenty-one months ago I finally got to the girl who had got to me years earlier. I finally intrigued her. What we love is worth more than our attention. What we love is worth our devotion. Our childlike enthusiasm. Our delight.
To live in praise of wonder. To see, always, the possibility of discovery. I don’t know you, and I should. I want to know you. I haven’t been here before, and I’m curious. What will it be like? To be struck by the world. Struck and struck and struck by it. And be relentless, each time, with our joy.