There are moments in life that a person never forgets. Some of them are wonderful and some not so much. I'll never forget the first Japanese breakfast I had when I lived in Japan. It must have been the first morning on my island. I was staying at a Ryokan. I don't remember much about it but I remember the bento box that was presented to me for my breakfast.
I remember the disgust I felt when I looked at the piece of fish, which still had its head on it. I remember being thankful for the delicious soup and being shocked that the egg was not hard-boiled as I had imagined, but raw. What was I supposed to do with a raw egg?
I am not a creature of habit, but I might be if I lived in Japan. I would do a lot to have that very breakfast every day. Some delicious miso soup, broiled fish, and a raw egg over steaming white rice.
I often eat a raw egg over rice for breakfast. Yesterday I changed it up and sauteed some shallots before cracking an egg over them and immediately dumping the mixture over some hot rice.
Lately I have been thinking about the concept of innocence and the end of innocence. We all cherish innocence. This is evidenced in the ways that we protect children and in the success of Disney.
But we also accept its end. Not all of us, for certain but in general adults embrace cynicism and cast aside innocence. Yet, like every other part of life, what we get out is exactly what we put in. It seems to me that we would do better to make the decision to maintain our innocence.
Why would you want to do this? There is a sense that knowledge equals reality equals goodness so why would we hope to maintain innocence? We would never want to unknow.
What am I talking about? Take snow for example. Let's say we get a nice snowstorm this week. It will be beautiful and maybe the kids will stay home from school. In their innocence they will put on their boots and snowpants and play in the snow feeling delight at the miracle of a pile of the soft white stuff. They will make snow forts and snowmen.
What makes children delight in snow? They see the beauty in it, they see the fun in it. The appreciate it for the joy it can bring them. Is there any reason at all that adults don't make the choice to see snow the same way?
Perhaps an adult sees missed work and a project that needs to be completed or a driveway they need to shovel and an old injury they are worried about disturbing. Perhaps they imagine the mess of snow brought into the house that was clean. This is knowledge, but it does not have to negate innocence.
This is the choice that we can make to maintain our innocence. We can choose to see the miraculous and the beautiful, to focus on what we know is good and joyous.