Hqb3pRing around the rosies,
pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes,
we all fall down.

The delightful children’s chorus, one nearly all Americans learn as youth, has an insidious underlying meaning. Yes, yes, we’ve all heard the associations — the song dates back to the London Plague of 1665. (Well, some say it does. Others dispute this claim, tying the song to childish courtship games and pagan history.) I’m not here to argue for either case; rather, I am amused by the fact that something so appealing on the surface can actually mean something so somber.

This world has become (has always been?) a very dark place. On the surface, and as children, it appears exciting and alluring — and it is! There is so much beauty and light and love to be had. It is a gift to simply live. But it’s a shame our children have us as examples. It’s a shame what we’ve done with our gift.

I do not mean to be depressing. It is, perhaps, my introverted nature that brings me down. But it is sad to me what we’ve become. From the excited, loving faces I beheld in the first grade classroom last school year to . . . To the weary, downtrodden, self-seeking faces of today.

Life never had to be like this. We made it this way. We collectively, not individually, but it’s up to us individually to make a change. I’m starting a new job next week — I’ll be a technical writer for the Sonoma County Water Agency (a good thing to have during a drought!) — and I’m hoping that this will be my opportunity for positive impact. I can be helpful, respectful, kind, hard-working. I can go above and beyond my job expectations — I can be a good person. And someday, when I get back to teaching, I can do the same for my students. We should never forget that we are an example for the generations behind us.

I may never regain my youthful naivety and innocence, but may I never lose my ability for wide-eyed wonder. My heart is full of love for the lost planet I call home. There is beauty yet — in all of us. Maybe someday we can make our meaning match our name.


Source: Ring Around the Rosies Folklore and History
Image: Google, quote by Jason Donohue

20 thoughts

  1. Nice thoughts. I’ve long stated it this way: Once you stop learning, you are essentially dead; the rest is biology. I’ve known so many people who refused to learn and who refused to see the world for the amazing place that it is.

    • I like that sentiment, Matt. I do believe that when you stop learning you stop living. That’s part of the wonder of being a child and what you need to remain alive as an adult. Easier said than done sometimes — it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and hard to push comfort zones as an adult — but always, always worth it.

    • I’m still wondering that, too, Sreejit! Just kidding. But, seriously, I have a lot to learn. My understanding is that I’m going to be working closely with engineers and other professionals to write proposals, contracts, agreements, etc. for water projects in the area. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of what I do on my blog, lol. There won’t be much room for creativity, but there will be room for precision and clear information, which is something I enjoy presenting with words.

  2. Glad to see a change for you as well!

    As for the children… It is amazing how daring they are. Climbing and jumping off of things. Then at some point, the daring is beaten out of them. I feel even worse for the kids these days. This is such an amazing time. I mean, you can get a passport easily and you can book a flight to just about anyplace and be there within a day. Yet…Many are sad about their future. That is not right!

    • Thanks, Steve! I know what you mean about kids and the world, too. It’s both a scary and beautiful place. There are countless opportunities for some and not enough for others. You’re right that the “daring” is beaten out of many. I wish for their sake we could change things, but change is slow and requires momentum and the backing of many. I don’t know if we’ll ever gain the momentum needed for a safer, brighter world, but we must focus on the bright spots and never stop trying.

  3. I work in somewhat of an advertising environment where the joie de vivre has been beat out of the people who’ve been here many years. Being new to the field in this large scale, I find it exciting to be able to use my creativity. People think I’m naive and that this enthusiasm will be beat out of me as well. But it’s like you said, I hope our sense of wonder and magic never get pushed down and I hope our adventures will be whole hearted and happiness inducing! Hope you are well! xx

  4. Give the gal her wings! :0)

    Jess, I apologize for the long stretch between comments. Call me self-involved…

    Anyway, congratulations on the new job, It is important. We were out in Pasadena back in August, and the effects of the drought were quite evident. (Meanwhile, here in Texas we about floated away at the beginning of the summer.) Keep it up; I’m sure you’ll make a difference.

An angel earns a pair of wings every time you comment.

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