Be as a little child – Stay FOREVER YOUNG

When Jesus said we should “become as little children” (Matt. 18) and Bob Dylan said, “stay forever young“, I somehow don’t think either of them meant just a little bit more plastic surgery, a nip & tuck, and a party.

Makes me think about Los Angeles… a.k.a. “La La Land”, a.k.a. “Neverland” where Peter Pan & the Lost Boys live: boasting faux confidence and breeding insecurity with muscle tone and elixer, desperately forming over-aged fraternities.  Where women are scorned for having traits like Wendy: hiding their nurturing qualities, afraid to be nothing physically less than plastic, and nothing emotionally more than a Mattel model Barbie Doll (w/expensive taste in accessories and horrible taste in men).

The geographic area is a sprawl of tender souls suffocating in emptiness, yearning for connection and dying without purpose.  Too dreary a picture for you?  Don’t worry, they’re propped up in designer high heeled shoes and sitting in expensive cars, revving engines and having fun.  But the very thing they protest against – is the very thing they need: God & Family.

I was one of them. Lost, lacking in confidence, feeling ashamed of my giving & loving tendencies that seemed to do nothing but get me into trouble (my problem: not having first learned to love myself, and allow myself to be loved).  Diverted focus, forming new talents like building fast walls around myself rather than increased musical ability, pushing people away, and testing new, all-the-rage, gamer-like tactics to avoid being authentic and vulnerable with people I care about most.  Riddled with fear, I quickly learned “survival skills” to ultimately prevent connection, even from one that really mattered.

Thank God (literally) someone told me to, “Look up.”  A 70 year old, hippie woman at a crunchy, out-of-place, vegan cafe on Sunset Boulevard.  She’s seen it all, done it all, and wishes she knew then what she knows now.  An imperfect person, put in my path to remind me something I had forgotten!  There is a purpose higher than ourselves, there is pure love, there is grace, there are miracles, there is forgiveness and there is strength.  Re-learning this is healing and changing my heart.

There’s a line in Bon Iver’s song, Holocene, that hit me while driving on an open, dusty road the other day: “Once I knew I was not magnificent… I could see for miles, miles, miles.”   Holy you-know-what, YES.  (Excuse my language.)  I GET it!

12-steppers will know this, I had to fall on my face.  I had to find myself crying on the floor (several times), with no desire for anything, and no where to look, but up.  My last couple months in LA, before coming to Minnesota for the Summer, were spent primarily by myself, talking to God.  Might sound crazy to you, but I needed to retreat, to sit with myself and my maker, and re-learn who I am.

I blame no-one but myself (for my state of being).  Sure, I’ve been through a divorce (I say that with no lightness of heart), survived a strange, abusive relationship as a teenager, and a few others patterned after that, my family is not perfect,… I could cast blame in a myriad of directions, but there’s no one I hold responsible for my happiness and well-being but myself.  I forgive everyone, even the most difficult person: me.

So, what does it mean, to “be as a little child” and to “stay forever young”?

I’m a go-getter, yet a small town, farm girl at heart.  Being home has helped me get grounded, I’ve been humbled enough now to know that I need family, and friends I trust – we are all imperfect, all taking it day by day, but there is love and forgiveness – and a commitment to be there for each other (even when it’s tough).  I was one of those kids that left promptly after high school to travel and perform, and never came home for Summers like other people my age.  It has taken me a while to admit that I need a touch stone, and I’m grateful to have a place like this.  Where I can chat with family late at night, water horses with my dad, play guitar with my mom, and look up at the sky brilliant with stars – REAL stars!  Not the “stars” of Hollywood – ha!

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One thing I appreciate about a small, rural community is that everyone lends a hand. Nothing is above or beneath anyone.  The other day, I was taking down old fence with my dad and brother in law and it’s been one of my favorite days yet.

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(Talk about being “forever young”, my 55 year-old father out-worked both of us.  They certainly don’t make em like they used to!)

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My nieces and nephews stopped by for a visit.

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A water fight ensued.

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And a pile-up.

j-posingThe oldest decided to “model”.

Being around these kids has helped me define what it means to be child-like (not childish – big difference).  They are tender-hearted, they are not afraid to cry, they laugh, they tease, they seek guidance, they are kind, they love without fear.  They have confidence, they aren’t worried about their physical looks or what they are wearing or driving or living in.  They just need healthy food, plenty of exercise, good sleep, creativity, community, family and love.  These kids also have faith that everything will be ok, no matter what.  They’re taught that God loves them.  Sooner or later, down the line, they will have to figure that out for themselves, though.  Just like me.

My imperfect self, both inside and out – my fears & insecurities, baggage & quirks, mistakes & well-intentioned efforts (sometimes successful sometimes not), my un-manicured nails, my scars and previously broken bones, my less than plastic boobs, “striking” nose, crooked teeth and equally crooked smile, kinky hair, freckles, thrift-store clothes, and beat-up car, what else?… oh and my heart and soul.  That’s what matters.

Makie-Makenzie-Greimann-Native-Gypsies-radar-loveThat’s all my dog cares about anyway.

And my ‘great creator’ must think I’m a-ok just the way I am too.

and so are YOU.  May you know that, and rock it out.

With Love,
Makenzie

“Forever Young”

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

– Bob Dylan

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Photos © my camera-happy MOM: Shelly, The Prairie Chick

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About Makie

MAKIEmusic.com ↞ indie musix person, creator of things, closet cowgirl & earthchild, here @NativeGypsies. Fav life essentials: trust + love. ↠ Read About MakieRead more posts by Makie

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