The Treasures of “Boyhood”

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. – 1 Corinthians 13:11

Earlier while walking our dog in the golden pre-spring evening, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something.  Against my better judgment, before my intellectually educated refined logical mind caught up, my imagination saw a lion.  For a split second, I cannot say that it was not real, until my geographically enlightened self overrode my eager story-craving inner kid. 

While chuckling at myself, and breathing in the cool earthy air, my mind was reminded of a little boy who once dug all day in the back yard to find treasure (where else would a Caribbean pirate bury his booty other than a clay-ridden back yard in south Mississippi?), who spotted Koalas in trees on the way to daycare (again, marsupials in Mississippi, which is ‘down under’, right?) and also found an oxidized lead bullet, convinced that it was from the battle of Vicksburg (only one hundred and thirty miles away!).  Though better sense would convince us otherwise than these boyhood delusions, one may come to these conclusions: the treasure found in my backyard was certainly of a greater value than any a pirate could have left behind, and though my bullet wasn’t from Vicksburg, I have since learned it was at least old, and finding a hundred year old hunting round is a bit rarer than finding one of the thousands of minnie balls still lodged in hills around the Gibraltar of the Confederacy. 

C.S. Lewis , in his writings, says a great deal about “boyhood” and the travesty of turning into childhood.  Boyhood is a good thing.  Boyhood is where innocence lies and adventure abounds.  Boyhood is what I experienced in my rural upbringing and adventure campaigning around the backyard with my brother.  Boyhood is what I had a glimpse of earlier in the pasture, next to the “lion.”

My point today is simple:  We must not always take ourselves too seriously.  If we can allow ourselves a moment of adventure, even if just for a moment, we may find some of our most treasured moments in our own backyard.  Now what the eucalyptus eating tree dwellers were doing in south Mississippi, we may never know. 

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – G.K. Chesteron

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