Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year

About 3am on January 1, 2006, my cocker spaniel, Maggie, woke me to go out. This wasn't a normal circumstance, but every so often she couldn't make it through the night. My eyes adjusted to the dark and I could faintly make out my black dog nosing around through the white snow. I stood on the deck in the back yard and the peacefulness and promise of a new year filled me with joy.

I looked to the corner of our yard, where the snow was untouched, and had a fleeting vision of a bunny. This thought was so strange and clear in my mind. I went back to bed and upon waking in the morning, the bunny apparition immediately popped into my head. As I told my mom, Paul, and the boys, they all laughed with me at my weird vision. But the rabbit wouldn't go away.

I coaxed Kurt and Kelly outside in the afternoon. We donned our winter gear, gathered shovels, buckets and a wheelbarrow. With a frenzy much like that of Richard Dreyfuss in the movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," I directed the boys to help me gather all the snow in the front yard into a huge pile.

The day was overcast and the nearly 30-degree temperature made for excellent packing snow. We shaped and sculpted until the mound resembed my bunny. She was crouched down, with her ears back, eyes wide and wary as she looked out towards the street, protecting herself from any danger.

I felt a childlike exhilaration that day, and still do when I think of my bunny. Comparing my vision to "Close Encounters," I realize that the message is identical.

As one reviewer wrote on of Close Encounters, there is a sense of dread and foreboding at the beginning of the movie. As the movie progresses, the tone shifts, and the true intent of the film becomes known: "to transform the adult sense of fear back into the childlike sense of wonder at the world." He wrote, "This isn't about being afraid of the unknown, but rather embracing it. Paying attention to the "subliminal images" in life, allowing them to lead you into something unknown and perhaps dangerous, only then can one be open to wonder and experience the world through the magical eyes of a child."

My wish for you all this year: Follow your visions and dreams. When you do, your true inner child will emerge, and you'll be happier for it.

Happy New Year!

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