A little girl, crouched and huddled, as if to make herself invisible, unfurled and jumped up, arms wide, smile alight with innocent joy, her frock of flowers flowing.

And then, just as quickly, she curled up again, cloaked in gray shame. She wanted to be seen, yet kept hiding.

Be gentle, be kind, love that tender, bright spirit like you would a seedling. She doesn’t trust herself to do it right, but perhaps that’s the only way she can do it.

Maybe all she can do is the right thing, given the circumstances of any situation. And maybe it’s all actually unfolding toward a more authentic way of being, in its own time and in its own way.

Let the little girl lie safely with her floppy mop, while you live your adult life. Set your feet firmly in the soil while she stays shaded, picking strawberries from the garden and playing with earthworms and lady bugs.

Be the compassionate guardian of your sweetness.