When I lost mine, I'm not sure. My innocence, that is. I didn't have a childhood to speak of, growing up in a conservative, fundamentalist preacher's home. There were 8 of us kids, not allowed to do many "normal" things because of what people would think. No card playing on Sunday ("they" might think we were playing Bridge!), no school fundraisers of chocolate bars ("they" might feel obligated to buy from us because they were Dad's parishoners). Serious.
Add to that not believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. No recollections of any Christmas or birthday presents, though surely I must have had them? No doll memories. Nothing personal just for me. We had adjustable strap-on, skate-key roller skates that we shared and an over-sized tricycle. We took turns. And Grandpa gave us a gigantic, sturdy swing set that our grandchildren still use to this day at the family cottage.
Oh, and did I mention that I was the sickly one of the bunch. A therapist once told me I was so scrawny-looking I had an invisible sign across my chest that said "FRAGILE: DO NOT TOUCH." I had my 9th birthday in the hospital when diagnosed with mild, non-paralytic polio. That was all I knew. That was what life was like. Serious.
Nor did I know about Ash Wednesday or Lent or giving up anything. The mystery of Easter was simple for me, summed up in the Easter weekend of death and resurrection. Nothing more and nothing less.
So if I tell you I had no clue whatsoever about Mardi Gras or Carnival, you know I'm telling the truth! Right now on my photoblog I'm posting a series of children at our Carnival here in the small city where we live in Holland. It happened on Saturday, February 13, just 2 blocks from our apartment. I couldn't stay away. What would I see? Total debauchery and licentiousness?? HA! What were "they" afraid of? Those voices in my head.
What I saw took my breath away. I can't tell you anything about the floats or costumes of the adults. Just the faces of innocent children, expectant and full of pure delight. Dressed up on the sidelines like kids at Halloween, they waited for confetti and candies tossed to them. Totally innocent. Totally children.
Please tell me that when we capture our Visions we regain whatever we've lost or thought we never had. Please tell me it's within us and we just get those lucky moments to see who we really are...and maybe always have been?