Spirit always nudges us, trying to get our attention and put surprise back into our lives. Spirit creates a distinctive life ”“ one that is uniquely you. We all have spirit, but where does the nudging come from?

Spirit can cry and forgive. Spirit doesn’t always behave, sometimes hurting others, and to me, that is the saddest lesson of all.

Spirit needs to be a better communicator. If we have to make mistakes, it is better to make a mistake of action than one of inaction.

Life keeps changing, and we often enter the country of new experiences ”“ different from what we know.

The real challenge is, will spirit allow us to survive as ourselves, undiminished?

Children have spirit. A spontaneous, impulsive, inquisitive and loving spirit ”“ all different. Sometimes funny, sometimes shy, sometimes aggressive, but it is always the nudging of their spirit. How I cherish the many years I spent with bubbly toddlers and little ones at the Young School and the daycare at Saco Sport and Fitness. Every week, their independent, self-reliant minds and bodies grew. I remember with clarity those little hands, and how those faces puckered up when Mom left. Those memories will last forever.

And then, how magical and mystical the journey! The little folks grow into vibrant, beautiful, spirited young people. Although I come to a quiet place of nostalgia, I also see a silhouette of tomorrow as buoyant and enthusiastic.

One example is Katherine Gillespie, who I used to baby-sit. Katherine, who is now a student at Thornton Academy, along with Katie Sinechal, are hosting the Grassroot Soccer 3v3 Tourney to raise money for the international nonprofit that uses the power of soccer to save lives by preventing the spread of HIV. The event is scheduled for Sunday, June 22 at the Hill Stadium at Thornton Academy in Saco. Game time is noon. For more info, contact Gillespie at [email protected]

Soccer has become a universal language, and is extremely popular around the world, especially in Africa. Grassroot Soccer is doing its part in the fight against HIV and AIDS there. The organization uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Soccer is more than a game in Africa. Grassroot Soccer’s founder, Dr. Tommy Clark, conceived the idea after playing soccer professionally in Zimbabwe, where he witnessed both the devastation of HIV and the fanatical popularity of the sport. Together, with a group of friends who had similar experiences, he and co-founders Methembe Mdlover, Ethan John and Keith Friedich created Grassroot Soccer.

This awesome organization believes HIV can be defeated and is trying to let natives know that it is 100 percent preventable. Soccer is an educational tool, by way of sending the important health message to a huge numbers of kids. Their motto is: “A healthy body brings a happy mind.”

Also coming up in Saco is a signing by local author Camille M. Smalley, who is the collection and research manager at the Saco Museum. She recently penned “Saco Drive-In” and will sign copies at an event on Friday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Deering Room at the Saco Museum on Main Street. For more information, call 283-3861, ext. 113.

— Zaffie Hadiaris of Saco is the host of “Zaffie,” a weekly television talk show on Channel 3 Biddeford public access. It can also be seen at biddefordmaine.org. Contact Hadiaris at [email protected]