Children are blessed pure and untainted with the trivials of life.
When I was young, I had an imaginary friend. I used to dream of a grey man watching over me, clothed in a steamy ashen cloak, his shoes a silent supple leather. He had a scratchy wire beard that rested on his sunken chest and ocean blue eyes. Thin, papery skin settled over his bony fingers and wisps of fluffy white cloud swirled around his ankles.
You hear tiny children in the local parks playing with imaginary friends, feeding them invisible cakes and pouring them empty cups of tea.
But I found myself wondering today where these figments of the imagination come from.
Are they a reflection of our own emotions and, too young to comprehend, we morph them into something friendly and accessible?
Are they imprints of a character from a book come to tease us with wonderlands that are just out of reach?
Somehow these human explanations do not encompass the truth of who the Grey Man was to me.
So are they our souls? Is it only when we are young that we can glance in to our own selves and see what is within?
A soul has-as of yet-eluded a universally accepted definition. It is something so infinitely personal to each person that it is impossible to describe or point to. No scientist has discovered proof of its existence, there is no requirement to believe.
And yet, when challenged on the subject, I find myself ardently defending it, shocked and mystified at those who claim it is not real.
Show me your soul.
For there is a spark within us all, a jolt of life that jerks us from darkness into the light and gives us reason to get up in the morning. It makes us more than just robots, makes us swagger with an innate knowledge of importance.
You could call that a soul.
You could call that God.
But who’s to say a child is wrong if they point to their Grey Man?