My name is Taylor.
And tonight I had the best night.
I spent the early evening chasing tennis balls at the dog park. It’d been a while since my papa had taken me here. I could have gone for hours and hours running back and forth. I was getting tired, but I didn’t mind. There’s something about running after a ball; and then running back to give it to my dad. My papa wonders if life could be so simple; and I tell him that it really can be. All you need is a ball, and a place to run to go get it.
Afterwards, I was laying on the carpet at home when the phone rang. Papa had friends over. And oh boy was that fun. I had met Kiley and Lauren before; but I had never met Sarah and Kyle. They were all so nice; and I could tell that my papa was big fans of them. I wonder why they had never come over before?
Papa had cooked them a nice traditional Indian dinner. It was amazing. It’s not quite as good as Ammachi’s cooking, but then again, no one’s cooking is as a good as hers. That being said, my papa could cook a mean meal. This time he had made South Indian Kerala chicken curry (just like how Ammachi and every generation before her had cooked it), egg curry (with tikka masala), spiced carrots with coconuts and shallots and curry leaves, spiced potatoes, heirloom tomato yoghurt salad, dill raita, mint raita, lemon & thai chilli pepper raita all served with coconut saffron basmati rice.
My papa wouldn’t give me any of the food he gave the others. I thought for a split second he loved them more; I wanted that food so much. But then I realized, that he once told me that people food and my stomach don’t mix. I don’t know if I believe him; but he believed it. I had a nice bland brand of dog food this evening instead. Oh well.
I made up for it by playing with the girls and licking Kyle’s arms. That was so much fun. They were talking and eating and drinking. All the while, Christmas music was playing in the background. “Children playing… having fun… it’s the season… Merry Christmas, everyone!” My papa says that every day should be like Christmas, and so we live our lives that way. Each morning, there is a present for us to open.
I was having fun; and I could tell that papa really loved these people that came over. And because I’m such a better judge of character than my dad, even after my once-over, I could tell they were very kind and wonderful people. And so I licked them and let them pet me.
After a while, they started talking about some really deep things. I’m smart, but even some of it, I’d have to really think about. Each of them recited a quote that meant a lot to them. It was really poignant.
Kiley recited one that he made up (brilliant move):
Life was not designed for our comfort but for our struggle. For in struggle there is growth.
Later, he emailed my papa this:
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Lauren offered an awesome John Wooden quote (which my dad reminded everyone that he was a Purdue grad):
Don’t give up what you want the most for what you want right now.
Sarah quoted her favourite by William Purkey:
You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.
My papa offered one of his favourite from Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
None of them quoted some of my favourites, from Garth Stein’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain”.
That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.
To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.
Tonight was a good night.
Actually, tonight was a great night.
I am going to bed now.
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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