Somewhere Over the Rainbow

As I listened to the ending medley from one of my son’s favorite movies, I became aware of a mounting emotion, deep within, of hope and excitement. I have not heard a song played in a long time from this particular artist, nor do I recognize him as someone I purposefully listened to as a youth. Yet visions of warm, sunny days, white clouds in the sky and the internal knowledge that I had the rest of my life to look forward to filled what could only be my soul, as these fleeting images were somewhat indescribable to my intellectual mind.

As another birthday approaches, I have been trying to put a name to what feels like dead weight that I carry around inside. I don’t have any particular troubles weighing on me presently, nor do I sense impending doom. Yet something is missing; some ethereal quality that I can’t quite put my finger on; a lightness of soul that I wouldn’t describe as the elusive longing for happiness, but more along the lines of a lost excitement for what each day might bring. Deep within are long forgotten memories of being fascinated by the smell of a honeysuckle bush each spring; of waking up and wondering what adventures the day will bring; of lying on a hill and watching the clouds go by, wondering who I will be when I grow up.

A sense of adventure—yes, that’s it! Those who study personalities claim that men always long for the thrill of adventure, while women long to be rescued. I don’t know about that; the women I know don’t long to be rescued as much as they long for security; both instincts supposedly being passed to us from our primitive ancestors. But to be part of a secure adventure—that comes as close as I can get to putting a name to my longing. I have no desire to travel abroad to turbulent places and place my life in peril, but I would like to wake up and look forward to my day again the way I did as a child. How do we go about tossing aside the disappointments from our yesterdays and lay claim to the hopeful promise of our tomorrows once more?

When we were young, we believed that anything was possible. I think we need to believe that still. Perhaps adventures did not stop coming as much as we stopped seeing them. Perhaps we’ve become comfortable with disappointment and have allowed our childish faith in the wonderful unknown to be stomped out. Perhaps we’ve stopped seeing what is possible and instead see a world of impossibilities. I know that my tethered and parched soul longs to drink in the excitement I sensed as a child again.

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