A few weekends ago, I had the privilege of being able to photograph a Homes of Hope build here in Tijuana.
This is just one story from that weekend.
When we turned the corner to arrive at our build site, I saw a child in a bright red shirt rush into the street and begin to dance wildly: arms flailing in joy. That child's name was José. And he was going to receive a new home that weekend.
I hope that image will be burned into my mind forever. It was so free, so honest. It took my breath away.
That weekend, I was reminded of the simple pleasure of laughter. Of the way it transcends all language barriers. Of how quickly children are able to forget about language, race, and just laugh with anyone who wants to play with them.
I didn’t need to speak the same language as them in order to chase them down with ice cubes, trying to put them down their backs, only to have them turn on me and chase me, yelling and laughing hysterically, throwing ice cubes back at me.
I didn’t need words to chase joyful José all around his new house as he pretended to be scared of my camera, then popping his giggling head from around the corner just to tease me.
At one point, I was attempting to take some group pictures of the kids on the build site, but the children decided that it was a better idea to all charge at me, laughing and yelling, making the strangest faces at my camera they could think of. By the end, I was laying on the ground, shaking with laughter, with giggling, shouting children peering down into my camera.
“Video!” one of them told me in Spanish, “Take a video!”
As they all crowded their giggling faces around my camera, a few of the smallest boys started joyously shouting to the camera: “¡Hola, futuro! Hola, futuro!”
Children aren’t afraid of the future: they’re excited about it. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up, and they declare it proudly. They’re not afraid to dream big dreams. They don’t worry about being realistic.
For them, the future is exciting, full of endless possibilities.
I want to be like that.
I want to approach life like a child: with reckless abandon, with dancing in the streets.
I want to be able to look to the future without fear or worry. I want to be able to look at it with excitement, knowing that God has it all in His hands. And what could possibly be more exciting than that?
I want to be able to look the future in the face with a smile, and say, “Hola, futuro."