When I worked at summer camp, the kids were always much more interesting than the adults.
I was always surprised by the wisdom pouring from the mouths of babes, things like: “I used to be afraid, but I don’t do that any more.” Or the less poignant but equally memorable “People think have a twin, but it’s really just my dog.”
Once, I could recall many more quotes from those days, but they’ve washed away. Sand through the hourglass or whatever that line is. It’s a little sad.
Recently, though, I heard something I hope is burned in my mind forever.
Edith Fuller became the youngest participant ever to enter the National Spelling Bee at the age of six. In front of the blinding bright lights, the sea of people in the crowd, and the cameras broadcasting her tiny frame around the world, she unflinchingly spelled the word “nyctinasty.”
Predictably, the crowd exploded with cheers. Predictably, the reporters swarmed her. Predictably, she shyly answered the questions like she was supposed to.
Unpredictably, this conversation happened:
Reporter: “Were you nervous up there with all those people?”
Edith: “A little. There are a lot of people up there.”
Reporter: “What about when you got your first word? Were you nervous then?”
Edith: “No, it was my turn.”
Today, it is your turn.
What do you have to be nervous about? What concern is it to you what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow? Your entire life, for better or for worse, has been leading up to this day. You are an enigma — infinite and wonderful — facing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this moment in time.
Step forward with the temerity and audacity of a child.
Step forward like Edith.
Much love as always,