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Infinite Possibilities with Dr. Hallowell

It’s back to school, back to work, good bye to summer, welcome to fall, and here we go again, in the great cycle of life.

I used to dread September because, even though I was a good student, I did not welcome giving up the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.  Who did?  Why did I have to go back for another year of studying, taking tests, and wondering about what my future might hold?

It’s that last part, what my future might hold, that grabbed me today when I started to think about it.  Do you remember your school years?  Do you remember how long it seemed until the day you were done with school, but, at the same time, how infinite the possibilities seemed as to what life might hold for you once you got out?

We kids dreamed great dreams, dreams of doing just about anything at all.  Everything seemed possible and impossible both at once back then.  The future stretched out before us, a radiant display of glittering possibilities, beckoning us like lush mirages, captivating our imaginations like an hallucinogenic herb, enchanting us with the myriad stories we told ourselves that might come true.  Oh, it was grand to be so young, so inexperienced, so naive.  It was grand never to have kissed, and then one magical day, to kiss.  It was grand never to have read a book and been unable to put it down, and then, one day, to do that as well.  It was grand to try and try and try again, and then, one day, to prevail against all odds.

Looking back on his childhood, Wordsworth wrote, “Whither has it fled, the visionary gleam?  Where is it now, the glory and the dream?”  The title of the poem that line comes from is “Intimations of Immortality.”  Indeed, that’s what we did back then.  We entertained endless intimations of immortality.

We couldn’t die.  We were bold and green and as brimming hope as a person could be.  We were ready to take on the world, and terrified of doing so all at once.  But we took our chances.

Now?  Some dreams came true, some did not, and some are still in the making.  But for sure, we did have that time once, that precious time called childhood, when we built the muscles of imagination that strengthen and sustain us today.

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