It all began decades ago with the comic wrapped over the tempting pink square of Dubble Bubble. A sweet scent swept into me as I popped the gum into my mouth. While I chomped, the sugary juices swelling against my teeth, I read the riddle, neatly typed under the comic. “What is the only day of the year that tells you to go forward?” I had to twist the paper upside down to discover the answer: “March Fourth.” (March Forth!) Since that long ago moment, March Fourth has been one of my favorite days. Every year, I ponder, how am I going to march forth this year? How will I contribute to the world and how will I experience a meaningful and happy life?
This year I am learning a few creative lessons from several families of monkeys we met while visiting Costa Rica. These monkeys travel in groups, with a leader to show the way and a follower to make sure everyone gets safely on the tree-born trail. Often, the monkeys have to leap to the next limb, letting go before they’ve safely latched onto the next branch. They’re curious and if anything hints at being delicious or interesting, they scramble down to investigate. And they are not shy about sounding their voices.
Here’s a small monkeying around video and here’s a few of the ways I’m inspired to March Forth.
I’m following the trail of my own curiosity.
I’m helping others find a path.
I’m letting go of the familiar when I can.
I’m making the most of what is right in front of me.
I’d love to hear about the people or animals that inspire you and I’m interested in any ways you’re going to March Forth.
Deborah Shouse is the author of Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey.