“I am still every age that I have been.
Because I was once a child,
I am always a child.
Because I was once a searching adolescent,
given to moods and ecstasies,
these are still part of me, and always will be…
This does not mean that I ought to be trapped
or enclosed in any of these ages…
the delayed adolescent,
the childish adult,
but that they are in me to be drawn on;
to forget is a form of suicide…
Far too many people misunderstand
what *putting away childish things* means,
and think that forgetting what it is like
to think and feel
and touch and smell
and taste and see
and hear like a three-year-old
or a thirteen-year-old
or a twenty-three-year-old
means being grownup.
When I’m with these people I,
like the kids,
feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up,
then I don’t ever want to be one.
Instead of which,
if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy,
and *be* fifty-one,
then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
(A Wrinkle in Time)