When did I grow up? Or am I still waiting for that?


Youth is described as young, immature. If I just look over my shoulder, where did I grow up somewhere? Or am I still waiting for that?

A human life clearly isn´t a linear process with a departure and an arrival. Time after time something new came my way, something like an offer, a change of course, an insight. A fire that was stirred up again and again. New books, new people. Also new jokes and comments about my doings, sometimes bitter, sometimes instructive, guiding. Friends stayed away, new ones came – and went. Until – just as unexpectedly – another door opened.

Yet, a pattern began to emerge, something like a thread was perceived. Although not always the desired or expected. Often, I thought that a point had been reached in which a full stop marked the end, but repeatedly it turned out to be just a comma. Never really something accomplished, at best passed things by, maybe shifted my boundaries somewhat – if there were any.

The essence of the being we call the ‘I’ was always there, including everything that came along with it – and around it. A kaleidoscope as it were, with now and then a battlefield, then again, a hell-hole or a flowing landscape with a blissful home-feeling. Also, sometimes a frenzied flight to nowhere.

Come and go, journey and arrival. They are all references to a course, a lapse of time. But when I ‘look back’ for a moment, somehow it is missing. Childhood, youth, maturity, they are stages in a life story, but in my view not relevant in my life. That whole past just seems to be contracted, concentrated in one point. Each a new tomorrow. I can´t name it. Maybe ‘over’ covers it?

But better, no name, for the ‘today’ is always new, unique, without a yesterday and a tomorrow.

A wink from eternity in which I can become aware of my entire being in a split second. As a guest? As a spectator? … or as myself? A vague trepidation dodges both the question and the answer. But something inside of me knows.

The core is always that flame, also entrusted to me, the oblivious carrier. With the loyal kaleidoscope as the look-out. And contradicting all common sense, two unquestionable concepts pave my way until today: I-am-led and I-am-protected – and an almost chronic euphoria of gratitude.

The climb to true maturity is an eternal youth.

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Date: February 3, 2019
Author: Emiel Vanhuyse (Belgium)
Photo: Adam Nakielski

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