Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why we don't float through life

 My son is light hearted, seldom moody, and surprises me with his intelligent and introspective observations of the world and of things unseen.
Recently he's been working out that unsolved mystery of how God came into being, using the words "universe" and "poof."

To my mind, those words explain it completely.

When I told him that some of the questions he asks are questions that scientists still don't know the answers to, he had a moment of silent awe.

Elliot asks series of questions that start like this:

"Mom, why do some balloons float?"

"Because they are filled with a special kind of gas called helium, which is lighter than air.  Think about a pool of water.  The water is heavier than your body, which is why if you lay really still and hold your breath you can float on top of it, just like a helium balloon in the air."

My explanation not being entirely scientific produced this response:

"Well, if people fill themselves with helium can they float in the sky?"

"No, I'm sorry to say this but it doesn't work that way.  If you fill yourself with helium it just makes you talk funny."  Then I demonstrated what it sounds like by talking to him in a funny, high voice.

After laughing about that for a few seconds, he said that he wished God made people with the ability to float in the air, and I agreed.

But there must be a reason why we just can't float through life.   Maybe it's because walking is a nice thing to do.  After all, if we could float, we might miss the fun activity of climbing trees.

Or the simple pleasure of walking along a sunny path.

If we could float, we might miss noticing the color and detail of small things rooted in the ground.

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