Words of the Old and Wise
I was probably eight or nine years old. I was sent over to the neighbor’s house to be looked after for the day. The babysitter was a lady in her late sixties or seventies. I don’t remember how the conversation eventually became about me. I was sitting next to her on the couch. Suddenly, she lifted up the back of my shirt. I guess being old, Vietnamese, and in charged for the day qualify you to do whatever you want. Yeah, it gets weirder.
Still confused as to why she was looking at my back, I can’t remember the conversation’s details. Except.
Yeah, isn’t she a horse? [Referring to me. I was born in the year of the Horse.] Yeah, this one is going to be out on the street when she grows up.
Right. The nicest and most appropriate words you can ever say to someone. Later that night, I asked my mother what she meant. My mom was not thrilled. Her daughter was not going to end up on the street.
Ever since, the babysitter’s words have become a little reflection point I like to revisit every now and then. Funny how the little conversations tend to stick on you the most. I have been thinking about her words a lot recently. She was right. While I have yet to be kicked out on the streets. Yet. (crosses fingers) But the older I get, the more time I tend to spend being outside. Whether it is for school, work, life, by choice, whatever. I enjoy being out. Wandering about.
Maybe it is because I am a horse. Horses, I am told, like to be out in the open range. Free willy. The more recess time they get, the better. I guess she was right on that point too.
Traveling feeds into my love for being outside. Heading to new places, seeing new things, meeting and learning about the people, the culture, the place. It is a shame how easily we forget how small we are on this great planet. How we let the small things distract us, take away our precious time, and frustrate us. For what cost?
I wonder where that lady is now. I would not mind having her check out my back again. There are a few questions I need her opinions on. Oh the awkward childhood memories.