Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday where I begin the week with an important piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is with something that totally pleases my inner child every time I partake in it, that being miniature golf.

I fully believe it’s extremely important as an adult to never lose sight of one’s inner child and I’ve done by best to embrace that part of me in a multitude of ways throughout the past few decades. Unfortunately, due to the health issues I’ve had to endure in recent years, the number of things I once did to honor that part of me has been drastically reduced. Thankfully though, miniature golf has not been one of those I had to shelve and is still an activity I can do even with my present physical limitations. It’s one I find myself playing at least once a week these days during the warmer months of the year on any course that’s within an hour’s drive from my home.

I grew up playing miniature golf just as frequently on just about every vacation I took with my family and have plenty of great memories from various courses around the country, especially in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where I began my fascination with this sport of sorts. Interestingly enough, most people wouldn’t think of miniature golf as a sport, but ironically, there’s actually contests held all around the world in it, the most prestigious of which from our country is sponsored by the US Pro Mini Golf Association (USPMGA), which has been held at the Hawaiian Rumble course every year in North Myrtle Beach since the 1990’s.

While I’m not part of that competitive side of this sport, I do regularly enjoy a healthy challenge with my partner and with friends, mostly because I like to see it bring the kid out in not just me, but those I play against as well. One of the things that miniature golf also does every time I play a game with anyone is bring me back to a time in my life when my only worry on a hot summer day was making sure I beat my parent’s and sister’s score and looking forward to the reward afterwards, that a huge gooey ice cream sundae afterwards with as many toppings as I could put on it.

But, as much as ice cream also pleases my inner child, I find more of that happening when playing miniature golf especially when I’m doing my best to avoid wind mills and other crazy obstacles, when I’m putting my ball around extremely beautiful landscape design and flora, when I’m trying to figure out how to handle any water and sand hazards, and when I’m bopping my head to themed music that often accompanies every course. Mini golf really does satisfy an itch to please my inner child and helps me to feel youthful every time I end up playing a game.

Nevertheless, any time I think of my inner child and mini-golf, I’m reminded of a funny memory that dates back to my pre-pubescent life. It happened on a pirates-themed course in Myrtle Beach after I had just sunk a hole-in-one on a very complex hole on top of a tall hill at the highest point there. Of course, I had to strut my stuff in front of my family, especially my sister, with my ego bursting at the seams. After picking up my ball from the cup, I leaned against a bush while waiting for the rest of my family to take their turns. Suddenly, I found myself falling through that bush and began toppling head over heels all the way down that hill to the hole that rested at its bottom, at which point I received a thunderous applause from everyone playing on the course that day.

My sister to this day still remembers that memory and maybe that’s indeed why I’m so grateful for this sport and for all the miniature golf courses around the world, that have helped me to relive some happy moments of my childhood, all while continuing to honor the inner child of me as an adult.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“Instead of getting even or teaching someone a lesson when they do you wrong, consider teaching yourself a lesson instead. Revenge keeps you psychically connected to another in a negative way. Release yourself through the liberating act of forgiveness, and learn a truly valuable spiritual lesson.” (Sri Gawn Tu Fahr) 

Quote #2

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” (Marianne Williamson)

Quote #3

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” (C.S. Lewis)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson