Delightedly Childish

Living in the present is essential to our well-being. Nothing else comes close, and the child in us is what makes all things possible — all things worthwhile. Here, you may find yourself again living in a world of renewed playfulness, without concerns about money, productivity, or being “cool”. Delightfully candid snapshots of children worldwide will teach us that there are no limits to our imaginations and that everything we need is within our grasp. Children make us better adults. Let the child in you give rebirth to the things you once thought were lost forever, while you take them by the hand and follow them while they guide you to the abundant tranquility you will feel by living in the moment.

Every child is an artist, teacher, and healer. Watch them at play and as they dream with their heads in the clouds, while they paint a new world for you to help you regain your sense of wonder and heal your wounds. 

Fickle Mirror

Each morn I greet a brand new day

My Mirrors look at me and say

“You look the same as yesterday”

Can it be my youth won’t slip away?

I’ll always walk with a peppy gate       

And hold my back and shoulders straight

Father Time will have to wait

For I’ll escape the aged’s fate

Awe, fickle mirror what’s that I see…

Tiny lines where taunt skin used to be’

Silver strands that seem to dance with glee

And mock the youth that remains in me

“It’s not so bad” these frail bones sigh”

“To face the fact one day I’ll die”

In the face of death, my heart behaves,

It’s’ peaceful balm my spirit craves…

To escape the vessel that now enslaves

-from the pen and perspective of Carol Wood/ aka Platoon Nana

A Wave Of Unhappiness

Fretting Children 

What is wrong with today’s children? Why does one in four have experienced a probable mental illness”; which means that one in five has had anxiety, depression, or both? Many kids with horrendous anxiety and self-harm are becoming paralyzed. 

The figures are certainly shocking, but what is driving this global “wave of unhappiness” amongst children?

There is obviously something missing, but how do we address it? How can we make things better? 

We can say they’ve got everything; cell phones, this, that, and the other.. but that’s clearly not enough. The answer for parents is simple; Do something. Talk about it, learn about it, and take a close look at what your child does.

Setting boundaries with this age group is just as important as it is with toddlers. As adults we should know that they need boundaries or they’ll behave in even more dangerous ways until they discover them for themselves; then it may be too late. Look for the signs; kids who harm themselves as a result of social media exposure are saying; help me, it’s out of my control. If your kid is pale, tired, and miserable most of the time, they are asking for your help.

Young people today lack meaning; a sense of connection and belonging. The “rituals of togetherness and family life are slowly melting away. If you’ve got kids, spend “positive” time together. Stop just talking about it. Healthy brains are a result of positive and loving memories. Memories are made of “moments”. Make everyone count. 

I am America

I am America.
I am a man of a certain age who still believes in God, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
I am a nation whom the rest of the world must look upon to find answers,
I am picnic baskets waiting to be filled with simple foods prepared by loving hands. I sit quietly and peacefully down by the lake in anticipation of the warm and beautiful sunny days of summer. I am a glorious early spring morning awaiting those who choose to feel and smell me.
I am America.
I am a mother surrounded by many angels to ease my pain and suffering,
I am Jason, a brave heart,
I am a voice who speaks the truth and needs people to lend me their ears,
I am ears waiting to hear the truth,
I am on a distant path waiting for someone to discover me and let me lead them to a beautiful singing pond with the morning dew lighting the way,
I am a land that used to be called “promised”, and I still do promise if you will just hold my hand and together make a stand,
I am a father who understands that the love of God and family alone is worth the fight,
I sometimes long for yesterday, but look towards the end of a perfect day,
I am country music, hamburgers, corn on the cobb, and iced tea,
I am down home and I still love my hometown,
I am Mother Earth’s heartbeat, companion, and friend,
I am the land of the plenty, but also the land of the sad and suffering,
I am America.
I am a river of love seeking an ocean,
I am old, torn, and tattered car tires laying in a field in the shape of a heart with daisies growing around them,
I am children laughing and singing silly songs that are dancing in their heads,
I am a day like none other filled with hope, opportunity, and boundless love,
I am still a melting pot for all of God’s children, and the child in all of us,
I have discovered after searching for so far, that I cannot turn back,
I am a land with arms wide open waiting to embrace you,
I know we can only achieve real peace when we live inside each others’ wounds,
I have discovered that after all my searching, I have found a place of my own in the heart of a stranger passing me by,
I will not walk with my dirty feet in other peoples’ heads,
I will give inner peace a chance,
America I am.
I am a ship of leaders in the night, not a ship of fools,
I am a nation that must begin to replant the seeds of peace, and one by one we shall reap the harvest, singing and shouting the voice of victory,
I am Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer,
I am all the countless wonderful cities, towns, and villages spread across this great land waiting to be re-discovered,
I am Autism, the door that can unlock the love in your heart,
I am Dante, the keeper of the key,
I am the land of freedom, hope, and charity,
I once was blind but now I see,
I am America.
I am home.
It’s time to wake up and be awesome.

Thank you for your service

Thank you for your service,
we’ll sleep sound because you’re there
someone needs to guard our freedoms,
and show the world we care

those of us with babes in arms
or frail from golden age
look to our bravest and our best
when there’s a war to wage

many can’t defend the cause
but we will keep watch and say
we hold you close in thought and prayer
we’re grateful every day

so thank you for your service
for standing in our place
for serving with such dignity,
devotion, pride and grace

© Carol Wood aka Platoon Nana

Seabiscuit – American Horse Of The Year 1938

There is a distinct similarity between the lack of hope that existed in 1938 during the Great Depression, and the lack of hope that exists in the United States today. Back then, a horserace changed everything.

It was a match race between the undersized Thoroughbred Seabiscuit against the mighty thoroughbred War Admiral who was considered a shoo-in to win Triple Crown. by 4 gaping lengths. A great example that life sometimes seems like a horse race, where we always seem to be racing to our own finish line.

Seabiscuit didn’t look like much-small in stature, inauspicious, and the butt of stable jokes. He did however possess the heart of a champion that held the hope of the sea of humanity that watched the race that day at Pimlico from both sides of the track. Forty thousand hopeful Americans and millions all over the globe were glued to the radio.

This one event was the most electrifying and popular event in sports history in 1938, making it the most popular news story of that day ahead of FDR, Hitler, and Mussolini.

What happened at that racetrack that day was not supposed to happen. War Admiral, one of the quickest break-away horses of his day, was supposed to take the early lead and finish the race with Seabiscuit only getting a glimpse of Admiral’s hindquarters. Instead, it was Seabiscuit who took the early lead and when they were neck and neck in the home stretch, the famed jockey George Woolf took the lead knowing Seabiscuit would not yield his destiny.

He turned and looked back at the heavily War Admiral and coined the iconic phrase “so long Charlie”. Seabiscuit would not yield his destiny. It was his heart that took him across the finish line by four gaping lengths.

Seabiscuit secured the hope for all Americans that even a small person can overcome the odds and skepticism of the few, and find the heart and endurance to win the big race. Maybe today we will need another great horse race to bring us the hope we need because it seems a Presidential race will not foster the leadership that will lead us to the finish line as the immortal Seabiscuit did.

Today it seems more like a neck-and-neck “rat race”. 

Our own destiny will show if we are winners.

A Return to Extraordinary – “Taking back the simple life”

Spring is unfolding, and a new canvas is providing us with a colorful playground. People have smiles on their faces and their hearts are bursting with things to do. Children anxiously await their last day of school, to focus on a summer of bliss. The uniqueness of nature’s glory appears in neighborhoods.. along backcountry roads, and even to the furthermost outposts of America’s parks, fields, and forests.

Birds in flight bring colors that remind us of a need to spread peace, equality, and compassion across this land of unmatched beauty and all things that we hold dear. It’s a penchant for people to go for walks with renewed vigor in their step. Front porches are filled with people appearing as still-life paintings of those simple days gone by.

Here in the Northeast United States, a fervor of color and strong, sweet, heady scents fill the air. From Lilies of The Valley to Hyacinth and Lilac bushes, these fragrances burst in the air. Hills, valleys, and lake country offer a panorama of fortuitous wildflower fields. Garage doors are flung open revealing the tools of spring and summer’s delight, while left scattered in the yard at nighttime waiting to be embraced in the morning. People lie on the grass, eyes fixed on the cloud formations resembling a multitude of patterns, sometimes real, sometimes imaginary.. not taken by a smartphone but a smart mind. A full moon turns the night into a starry place of hopes and dreams. Our elders with faces filled with hard work, wisdom, and sophisticated beauty.  American soil filled with graves of patriots and loved ones longing for more visitors, each no longer with stories needed to be told.  Children not knowing yet that living in the moment is what matters most, now the ones who will carry the message of life’s most precious moments.

Spring is the heartbeat of love and hope while it renews our belief in ourselves and others.

Don’t miss your chance to “feel” it!