NAIVE (and a trail walk)

 A Word Like Light: NAIVE

         The older I get – and I’m now 81 – the happier I am to know that I am utterly naive. When I was younger, I prided myself on increasing my knowledge – exploring the complexities of life and coming to all sorts of important understandings. I guess I felt like it was inevitable that I would eventually comprehend most of the meanings of life. It was as though life was an extremely complicated puzzle, but one that could eventually be solved by a person with a deep-thinking mind. Now, however, in these rousing senior days, a new and seemingly older sun has slowly risen and shown me the incredible beauty of what I can only call unsophistication. I see, in this new light, that I am as ingenuous as the gentle leaves swirling in the trees these days. Leaves don’t understand their lives. They simply sway and swing – and effortlessly fall when autumn comes, and more and more now, I’m swaying and swinging with satisfaction and innocence, trusting that life is leading me in perfect ways. Does that mean I’m living like an immature kid? Yes, perhaps – and proud of it, because when living things reach maturity they begin to die, and I feel, in a way, like I’m just starting to truly live, like I’m a naive 81-year-old kid, wide-eyed with wonder at what this universe performs every single second. Yes, there is death and destruction here and there around the world, but my naivety helps me also see the goodness and graciousness that’s literally everywhere. I’m thankful for my 81-year-old childlikeness. I do see the darkness, but, like a boy, I am awed by the stars shining above every darkness.


Today, Delycia and I took another refreshing hike on the trail at a Avery Farm Nature Preserve, and all I could feel was my astonishing good fortune at being able to do something like this it the age of 81. I felt youthful and spry as we walked, even when I had to occasionally pause on an upslope to catch my breath. The woods around me seemed to sing, in their winter silence, about the specialness of old age. Senior trees seemed to stand still in respect and esteem as we passed, and the far-off songs of birds sounded like praise to me. I definitely was a lucky old dude as we paced along with spirit. (Below are some scenes.)


Tuesday, September 21, 2021


            In these days of apparent worldwide disorder and skepticism, my goal is to be trusting. After all, I am part of an infinite universe that has been unfolding beautiful miracles for billions of years, so why shouldn’t I step back, set aside my personal wishes and preferences, and trust this miraculous universe to proceed with its plans? I guess I need to be more childlike – more willing to simply stare in wonder at the amazing mysteries that disclose themselves each moment. I want to be an ingenuous 79-year-old guy who gives his complete trust to whatever happens. This doesn’t mean I will always like what happens, or that I will weakly stand aside and let hardship have its day. On the contrary, trusting the universe means standing – and staying – right in the center of whatever’s happening, thereby finding the cease-fire and victory that is always available in every situation, no matter how grim. The truth is that ‘I’ don’t really have to do anything today, since this inestimable universe of ours will be doing everything that needs to be done – giving me new breath each moment, new feelings and thoughts, new and spectacular scenes to see, new adventures to share in. I should be wide-eyed with wonder all day as the shoreless and imperious river of the universe tirelessly moves me along. 

(Andy H., 70, Blessings, CT)

He knows
the universe works well 
without his help. 
The trees in winds can work their waves 
and bends with no input from him, 
and clouds float soft and light 
without his crackerjack advice. 
Good breath lifts up his lungs 
with ease and poise, 
and he’s amazed 
to feel them rise and fall. 
He knows 
he never has to take control, 
since life does all the work. 
He only has to be, 
and let, 
and trust.