June 8, 2020

Do you remember getting a new pair of Keds when you were a kid? I’d put them on and head out the door to try them out. I was certain that I could run faster, jump higher, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. My imagination ran far faster than my little legs could take me, but in my new Keds, I knew they made a difference. (Check out the YouTube 1950’s commercial about Keds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LHn6gVzI_k)

There is a freedom of imagination in children that turns a simple pair of sneakers into super-shoes, imparting super-powers to their wearers. While I no longer believe that a pair of sneakers can propel me to new heights, the attitude that we can push our limits, can become more than we ever imagined or dreamed possible, maybe even change the world, lives on.

During the season of COVID 19, I’ve gotten into the habit of virtually visiting my two youngest grandchildren before they go to bed. It’s story time with Nana, though I am delighted to yield the floor when they want to tell me a story. I’ve been telling them stories about Princess Sophia and Princess Helena. These two princesses were adopted by amazing parents who live in a castle and love them very much. And like all princesses, Sophia and Helena have adventures.

In these stories, they are discovering their superpowers.  One of them has a smile that will freeze monsters. The other has a giggle that causes monsters to melt away. In recent adventures (no doubt due to my projections onto current events) I’ve given them the power to fly, and when they fly over houses if they smile and giggle it causes the people inside to be happy.

All of the stories begin with the words, “Once upon a time…” and while they know these are just silly stories told by a Nana, I hope that a remnant of attitude or a belief or action that may linger to serve them well even when they get to be my age.

In their most recent adventure, they had a sleepover, and in the middle of the night decided to go on an adventure. They flew all over the neighborhood, but realized as the sun was just getting ready to rise, that they were lost. Lo and behold, when they held each other’s hand, they discovered the way home. 

A person standing next to a fence

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As I got to the part about holding hands, Princess Helena (aka Marie-Hélène), who happens to be biracial, reached for, and held onto Princess Sophia (aka Anne-Sophie), who happens not to be. For holding hands with each other can help us discover the way home.

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)

We are all walking each other home. (Ram Dass) ~ Anne

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