Today, at the end of the morning, we ended up, almost by surprise, on a swing. Just a swing. Unpretentious. Made of wooden logs, skillfully crossed. Where you could be, accompanied, looking down at the river. While the swing came and went. And a (fantastic!) View of Coimbra, over the river and the other bank, left us almost awkward, in the face of so much beauty. There are times when beauty looks so meticulously "in place" that words are too much. Sometimes, it even disturbs that so much beauty is a chance of Nature and not so much a “work of architect”. Designed, in detail, for us to enjoy and grow with it. And then, there was the simplicity of all that space, around the swing, imagined by someone so that those moments were not just yours. That helps us to realize that a world of people who take care of themselves, to the point of taking care (even) of beauty, is the world that we all want for each other. And for our children, more in particular.
When we left, we walked for a few minutes in silence. Until, "out of nothing", one of my children, the smallest, asked: "Mother, who created the world?" I think he understood that beauty is such a precious gift that it puts us in communion with one another – and that only that translates to peace – that, on the scale of his age, it brought him astonishment. And that made him end up asking who would have been capable of a monumental (epic, even) work, such as beauty. Almost as if I wanted to thank you. And in nothing, even in nothing, he seemed bothered by the way, on the scale of the beauty that enters us, we are all small before the beautiful.
I didn't think we could tell him everything that he might try to know about the creation of the world. But I am grateful that you did not ask who is damaging it, for lack of care, for the children. Then, I have no doubts, we could only answer him: it's us!
As much as the most precious questions are never too many, the most important will be to discover that whenever we do not care for each other we are not up to the beauty with which the world was created. And, if we had doubts about it, it was just time to get to a swing, over the river, to understand it better. What makes the difference about the way we take care of each other is not so much the way we are careful at times slovenly and silent. Or how we “take care” of each other, taking steps “back and forth”. What makes the difference, in the face of everything that makes us small and fragile, is the way in which, when looking at the world from a higher place, we perceive all the times when we do not deserve it neither for it nor for beauty, whenever we don't take care of each other (and her, of course) as we should.
And then, what could be more magical than asking a mother who created the world? As if she, especially she, were in her God way and had the key to all the answers?
Who, in the face of a child's questions – when he takes us to a place where he looks higher – can think that they are small and distracted? Nobody! In fact, we should – everyone! – feeling obliged to “create the world” again, in a better way, whenever a child puts their whys in our care. To deserve your questions. And all the beauty that, without them, we will be distracted. Happy Children's Day!