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Live each day like a child, you will enjoy life more

Annie Mathew
Filed on November 14, 2019

They were in a world of their own and invented their own games to add to the fun and cheer.

With the advent of winter in the UAE, the sky is splattered with myriad hues of glorious colours in the early morning and in the dusky twilight. The sun is at times a blazing orange and at other times a golden yellow in its iridescence. Just when you think the sky is ablaze with fiery tongues of fire panning out in all directions at noon, you find the same sky calm and soothing with soft, cottony blue tones in the evening.

I eagerly wait for the winter in the UAE to look at the sky, to lose myself in the magic of splendid sunrises and the soothing sunsets. As I gaze at the sun and beyond into the cosmos, I get the gratifying feeling of being one with the universe! The peace and calm that I feel is like therapy.

The other day as I sat at the beach, oblivious to all things around me, my reverie was broken by continuous chattering and giggling by three girls, a bit faraway, playing in the waves.

I could see them trying to outrun the waves, pulling each other into water and then falling down into the sand in abject surrender and glee. They were in a world of their own and invented their own games to add to the fun and cheer.

I could see only the silhouettes of them, with their heads covered in a kind of halo emanating from the caressing rays of the disappearing sun.

The sun went down taking its light with it and darkness enveloped the beach. As we were getting ready to leave, the three 'girls' passed by us, still talking happily with cheery abandon! I stole a good look at them and to my pleasant surprise; they were all either septuagenarians or octogenarians, for all I could gauge and perhaps tourists too.

How happy and proud of them I was at that moment, I can never articulate. I had suddenly found some old-age goals.

I admonished myself - how dare I even think of them as old? They had more dexterity and agility than many people, half their age.

They had chosen to explore the world and enjoy life even in the dusk of their time just as they did at the dawn and probably noon, with the same zest.

They had decided to keep the child in them alive and kicking until they could.

It was probably what was in their mind that reflected in their physical wellbeing. Maybe they did have some ailments that we attribute to the number of years one has lived, but that was kept aside for this memorable experience with friends.

They could have been childhood friends or their friendship was new but they had found a common thread of happiness and easy camaraderie.

The image of these three 'girls' will stay with me for long. I often think about them and love to imagine them having fun and getting a bit naughty like children.

But then isn't there a child lurking in all of us whom we choose to ignore? We find many reasons to do that - adulthood, job-responsibilities, providing for the family..but even amidst all this we need to pay heed to that child in us.

When we do that we become better people, we learn to look at the world through different angles and we enjoy the feeling, too. When we play with children or with each other our stress levels drop and the good chemicals predominate over the bad ones in the brain.

The 'feel good' factor will be reflected in our dealings with others having a ripple effect, improving relationships.

The world of good that play will do for our children is beyond measure. It is during play that the children learn the most important values and skills in life.

Children may forget many things that they learn in the classroom but the lessons in resilience, fairness, losing with dignity and the pride of winning that they learn during play are for life.

Be it the dawn, the noon or the dusk of our lives let us find the time and the zap to live it up, to cherish the mystic of the universe, to play in the sea of life till the very last whistle, for we may never visit these beautiful shores ever again.

Annie Mathew is an educator and writer based in Dubai


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