“My Littlest Girlfriend!”

My littlest girlfriend is 3 1/2. She is unabashedly passionate about everything she does. Her current delight is being Mumble from the movie Happy Feet. Mumble is a tap dancing penguin who is ostracized by his penguin community because he can’t sing, like all penguins should be able to do, and he can’t help but dance like no penguin ought to. Taylor dances around the house, out on the sun deck, down in the grass and across the side walk. She does a great imitation, fake tap dancing at its finest. As a teacher of dancing with life she is a sage. And as my littlest girlfriend, who has grown another two inches every time I see her she keeps reminding me that change is inevitable.

Everything changes. It is the dance of life. Everything is born, everything dies. It is the way of transformation. It is the miracle of impermanence that has its way with us whether we like it or not.

Impermanence makes things precious. Every gardner knows this. The beauty of the garden lies in its ever changing nature, in the waves of color and shapes, smells and textures that are constantly moving thru it. The beauty of the world lies in this same constantly changing dance. And we can step into this beauty, can leap smack dab into its very center.

Learning to improvise gives us the capacity to play with change, to dance with inevitable impermanence. Why not! There is nothing we can do to stop it, so we may as well join it… love it… become it!

When we play, mess around with what is, bring our curiosity to the moment, we might just discover that the moment isn’t what we think it is. A moment of doubt can become the surprise of mystery… a moment of loss can become the instant we are finally able to see new life emerge…. a moment of boredom can, at last, be our time to find stillness and simply be.

One Friday noon Taylor and I were sitting at the dining room table, pretending to be rabbits, happily eating our salad.  As I watched her munching away, her complete and utter innocence stirred something deep in my heart, compelling me to realize that in the vastness of this immeasurable, wondrous and impermanent universe there is no one like her. There never has been and there never will be. She is absolutely and profoundly unique.

In that instant I was touched by mystery. Actually to be honest I was bold over by it. I thought I might even reach enlightenment. Perhaps I just had the briefest glimpse of it. What ever happened, I was transformed. Caught off guard, I was forever changed.

Shaken awake
by my littlest impermanent girlfriend,
pretending to be a bunny,
grazing on greens,
soon to morph
back into Mumble the tap dancing penguin,
keeping time to the beat
of her own heart
as she showed me
heal ball toe
on her fake styrofoam ice berg.
Now that is what I call
becoming the dance that is life!



  1. Catharine said,

    June 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    to play is to mess around with what is…I like that

  2. trish watts said,

    July 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

    hi there! love the way you write, with such ease, allowing, and unpretentiousness.
    thanks for the delight of Taylor. trishx

  3. Paula said,

    July 6, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I love your intense descriptions – very easy to visualize and feel what you are talking about. It makes me realize how children can be our teachers. Summarizing your paragraphs into a poem at the end (at least that’s how I read it) was a unique end to your expression. Makes me wish I had a Taylor in my life.

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