Young Li Mu Bai
Crouching Tiger Cub, Hidden Dragonling
He likes to pretend and play around like he knows kungfu (don't tell him I said that--he insists he really does), but today, he was absolute poetry. This park area is right across the street from his school, and on the way to our car, he asked if he could run around for a bit before going home. Why not, I thought. Just look at that sky. So we went to the car to drop off his things and to grab a blanket (some might accuse me of having a messy car, but I've always got something handy when it's needed!) and his toy sword.
Once I'd laid out the blanket, I turned to see him moving ever so slowly, sword deftly gliding through the air, his other hand--while not precisely forming sword fingers--arcing with deliberate, complimentary movements, and light, yet purposeful footsteps. I was delighted!
He was conceived and born into a martial arts environment--based on the "soft", cultivative practices of gongfu, taiji, and qigong--so it really shouldn't surprise me when he shows some kind of...I dunno...aptitude? But I also don't want to expect it of him--I don't want to push it on him so that he resists it. So it delights me to see him move like this so naturally.
Then again, much of the practice of taiji is learning to move naturally. Being Taoist in origin, in taiji, there is the intent of being as water, or maybe "the uncarved block"; perhaps seeking what Zen Buddhists might ask is "your face before your father was born," or as Christians might say, "...become as a little child..."
Perhaps my delight is in recognition of his pure, natural way; his movement unencumbered by opinion or prejudice; his steps unhindered by fear or shame. My practice may be to regain some of that, but now, also, it is to guide, nurture, and cultivate.