My neighbor’s son is called Wanderi. He must be four years old or so. When the other children in the neighborhood are playing, Wanderi will be quietly sitting by himself with his collection of little rocks and small pieces of paper amusing himself. With his awkward lopsided gait, it is impossible for him to keep up with the fast games that other children play and his limited vocabulary and sing song voice will not let him fit in with the rest. His unusual development makes him immature for his age. On the other hand, his sister who is one or two years older is much more mature that her tender age. Amidst the excitement of all the games, she keeps a close watch on his baby brother, making sure that no one bothers him, and that he does not put unwanted objects in his mouth. She is so protective that when I first tried being friends with Wanderi, she couldn’t let it happen. Being very trusting, Wanderi has no problem approaching a stranger who calls out to him. But before he could make the few steps that will get him to me, the sister would physically step in between me and him and firmly plant herself there with a huge smile showing a set of teeth that were still growing. Eventually, she decided to approve of me and now I am free to interact with Wanderi whenever I find the group of children at play.
Wanderi is one friend that anyone would like to have. The warmth of his spirit makes you feel warm in your heart. When he sees you, he will immediately call out your name and unintentionally mispronounce it loudly. He will then abandon whatever he was doing and stand up as quickly as he can, stepping all over his precious little rocks and papers in the haste. He will be smiling all the way and you can see his 2 cute little front teeth as he starts to run towards you. With legs that are not strong enough to carry his rocking body, he will set out in a gait that will help him move in your direction as rapidly as he can. In the last few steps, he will throw all physics out of the window and will give his all. If you do not throw out your hands to catch him, he would tumble down and perhaps roll in the great momentum gained in just a few moments. And this moment of meeting another human being is such a thrilling event for him that he will squeal with glee.
I have watched that little moment over and over again, and it reminds me of a big jumbo jet streaking down a runway, with its wings all spread out, just about to take off. It is inevitable that if the plane does not fly, it would disintegrate into pieces. How does it feel like to have Wanderi’s brand of trusting? How it must be to be able to trust truly and completely! To trust so much as to know that if the other person does not catch you, it is inevitable – just as the jet plane – that you would literally and completely tumble down into a thousand little pieces.