Out of the Mouths of Babes


Mother and Child
Monotype on Paper
15 x 12"

This month I am quoting my son who quotes his five-year old son, my grandson, because I wouldn't be able to say this any better:

"The boy gets deep from time to time, but this came after a hard climb - a steep and slippery half mile to the summit above L.A.'s famous Eagle Rock. Otto has been feeling a little blue about coming in last in the school foot race this year - he was the shortest kid in the entire school - and the seemingly-endless laps around the schoolyard weren't his forte. But on the hill, after tumbling a few times, losing his footing, getting a couple of "ouchies", he said: 'You don't need to be fast to climb mountains. You need to be slow so you can do it right and see everything. And it was scary. I kept thinking I needed candy to help me, but then I realized all I really had to do was face my fears.'

Then, at the bottom, with a handful of buckthorn, a few rocks in his pockets, as he pulled nettles from his socks - all in a conveniently placed chair - he said:

'Mother Nature is everything. She's the plants and the trees, she's everything that ever happened, and everything forever. She's people, even if people don't always know it. She didn't make us. She is us.'

That's facing your fears, I'd say, and overcoming them."

Where do these gems come from? Who knows? How do talents and wisdom arise in children? Yes, for those who are fortunate, it can come from their good parents, good education, happy environment. But often, it seems, in spite of a troubled world, out of unfathomable mystery comes a glimpse of what we humans are capable of, something that must be in all of us.