Day 54- the wisdom of children

I wake up to my last day in Mexico. I am so sad to be leaving but at the same time, happy to have been here again, among my heritage and my family. When I pick up Sophia, my little niece, from school she runs to me, crying “Tia!”

In the car I help her read. She sounds out the words and looks up at me inquisitively to see if she got it right. We stop for an ice block then to pick up food and she balances her bright red frozen treat in one hand and a plain maize tortilla in the other over her reading book. After reading she wants to do sums. I throw small numbers at her and even without using her fingers she comes back quickly with the answers.

We didn’t get our passports stamped by immigration on our way into Mexico so we need to spend an hour at the airport tonight sorting this out, paying fines and signing pieces of paper. On the way home Sophia falls asleep with her head resting on my shoulder. The entire world disappears around me as I become entirely enveloped in this feeling of pure, sweet, innocence. I can’t get over the beauty of her smile. How do children just fall asleep anywhere and remain completely comatose, no matter how you move them about? By the time you’re all “grown up” sleep is an elusive and dearly missed luxury. Every night I have a ritual of facial treatment, dental care and herbal tea to slowly lull me into falling asleep by the time I lie down in bed. Then, once lying down, it takes at least several complete revolutions from lying on my back to my side to my other side to my stomach and back to lying on my back before I finally drift off to sleep. I always know when I’m falling asleep because the constant stream of thoughts starts to turn into dream while I am still conscious of them enough to realise how weird they are. Then there is a final twitch as though an electric current has suddenly run through my whole body and finally I am sleeping. Until that herbal tea is banging at the walls of my bladder and I wake up at midnight to go to the bathroom. If I am lucky, I fall asleep again straight away.

I look at Sophia and her mouth, slightly open, lets out a tiny snore. We all let out an “awwww” and I keep watching her for a while. She is my meditation. She is that feeling of purity and wisdom. She is peace and bliss. She is enlightened, innocent and uncorrupted by life. Tears are running down my face, but it is not sadness that makes me cry. I am weeping for the perfection of this moment, for the beautiful and tiny life in my arms and for my own inner child who can still sleep so sweetly when I meditate.

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