Although G. and I live in a large house, it is split up into many uses. G.’s piano shop is on the first floor; there are over two dozen pianos, Steinways mostly, other ones, active and inactive down there. More pianos are in the barn. We live on the third floor where we watch the sun set while we have dinner. On the second floor are apartments that are rented out, often to grad students and post-docs at UMass Medical School which is nearby. Our current tenants have a two year old boy named Spencer.
One day last Fall, as I was washing the breakfast dishes, I heard a whirring noise out on the deck. As I wiped my hands and looked down at the deck that connects the barn to the house, I saw little Spence riding his three wheel bike. It wasn’t really a bike, it was one of those down to the ground vehicles that tots ride before they are old enough to get on a bicycle. Anyhow, Spencer was riding this thing, but he wasn’t just riding it, he was barrelling as fast as he could without a care in the world. I mean, he was careening around on the deck!
I wonder where that kind of joyful abandonment comes from, trusting that you can actually go at that speed in life without running into something or taking a fall. Even more exhilarating to see was the expression on his face, his eyes almost closed, shrieking with joy. Man, it was really something! His father quietly took photos of him, kneeling in one place as he recorded his kid running amok on the deck.
Are we all born with the potential for this kind of unbridled joy? I wonder.