I have been thinking about when I was a child and how things were. In particular I have been thinking about whether it is possible to recapture that childlike curiosity and imagination that we once had, well, that most of us had anyway.
What can we do as adults to try to recover this? Every day we are, as adults, faced with responsibilities that just seem to grind us down, at least I often feel that way. Obviously when we were children we didn’t have those kinds of responsibilities. These were never a problem as a child. Most of us were not worried about where the next meal was coming from, more how soon we could leave the table and get on our bikes to meet our friends at the secret camp. There were no mortgages, no bills, no responsibilities other than to do our homework and to be home on time. I know that not every child’s life is like this, but this is how I seem to remember mine, although I admit there was a lot of reading too. The sky was bluer, the grass greener, the sun brighter and it was always hot in the summer and snowed in the winter. We had our hidden camps in the woods where our secret clubs met in summer to plan epic journeys to forbidden places, we made snowmen in winter and played on the icy ponds.
So a couple of weeks ago I went back to the village in which I grew up, it is only about ten miles away, and visited the pond and horse chestnut field we used to play around. It was still there, but different. There used to be a little waterfall (more just an overflow for the pond really, only about four feet high that drained into a tunnel that went under the farmers drove and into the conker field next door). We had hours of fun playing there, but only the bravest of us ventured into the dark of the tunnel and made it through to the light at the other end. Now the pond has a public service noticeboard detailing interesting features about the now stagnant, mouldy old pond. The waterfall is covered in wire mesh. Was it ever really how I remember it?
I guess you are thinking, like me, was there ever actually a point to this post? I fear I am just rambling now! Oh yes, recapturing the inner child. I am sure it is in there, I just have to find the best way to release it. Hang on recapture, release. Do I know what I want? I think I want to be able to experience life again through the eyes of a child. Perhaps what I am trying to say, most ineloquently, is that I want to feel wonder and surprise at the smallest of things again, not for things to be tainted by the cynicism of age and experience.
Kind of lost the thread there a bit, but I hope you know what I mean. Any ideas?