We hadn't reached the front gate when he spied a trail of ants. We knelt down to take a closer look and studied them intently as they navigated their busy workaday world.
There was no straight path to our destination. There were gutters to investigate, low fences to walk along, pine cones and pretty leaves to collect and sticks to carry. There were shadows to chase and questions to answer, a fireman to wave to and trucks to count.
We sniffed flowers, watched an industrious bumble bee and even discovered a fat green caterpillar enjoying his breakfast. I marvelled at the wide-eyed wonder of childhood and felt the deep joy and privilege of being a part of it even for that moment.
What a shame that somewhere on the road to adulthood we lose that childlike sense of wonder. We are encouraged to focus on the destination, schoolwork, career, achieving, and in the process we are robbed of the fascination of the present moment.
Maybe we need to rediscover the wondrous, multidimensional awareness of our childhood, to stop sleepwalking on the sidewalk and redevelop 'first eyes'.
In 2009 I visited Burkina Faso. Everything was new and exciting. I drank it in like a thirsty child ... the sights and sounds ... the colours ... the textures ... the people ... the spices, and the unfamiliar smells. My senses were on high alert. Every moment was filled with new discoveries. A missionary who had worked there for 20 years was fascinated as she saw me experiencing everything for the first time as she had all those years ago. For her it had become commonplace and familiar. It had lost its wonder. She got to see it for the first time all over again, through my eyes.
How much of the wonder of this world do we miss every day?
I want 2020 to be more about the journey and less about the destination. I want to live it with childlike wonder ... with more detours ... to be more available and more aware. I want to wave to the fireman, jump in more autumn leaves and notice the blind man. I want to be more constantly surprised by life.