Saturday, 14 May 2011


I often think of my childhood with nostalgia
and an intense longing to return
to those carefree days of innocence
and openness of heart, those days
before tutors raced to transform me
into a 'well-rounded' adult.
My fertile imagination thrived then
and knew no ridicule.

In childhood I was never afraid to mention
the mermaids I'd met and befriended
in the 'sea' that was a meadow
of long grass beyond our garden gate;
or the scary pirate ship I'd seen
in the outline of a wind-tossed pine;
or even the marauding Vikings
who leapt from the embers of Auntie's fire!

Interpreting the World was simple then.
There were no grey areas.
I was the eternal optimist,
seeing only good in everyone, everything.
Life was one long adventure of discovery,
each day filled with exciting possibilities
that gave me wings to soar high
like a butterfly, towards the Sun.

My needs were minimal then,
just a trusted companion in the form
of a tatty old teddy bear
who shared my amazing expeditions
to far-off, uncharted lands.
We even conquered the outer reaches
of our back garden once, converting its natives
into new found friends.

They were huge furry bumble bees,
humming their hypnotic mantra
from deep inside the laburnum arch.
There were rainbow coloured dragon flies,
bigger than my hand.
The wasps in yellow striped pyjamas,
just like the ones I'd had for my birthday.
The pretty ladybirds and bright green grasshoppers.

There was also a vast array
of assorted flies - black ones, blue and green,
and prettiest of all, the hover flies.
But my ultimate favourites
were the armour-plated woodlice
who lived inside a rotting oak stump.
How I wished with all my might
they could be much much bigger, so I could ride them!

The highlight of my week
was visiting Grandma's house.
Her terraced gardens reached
as far as the eye could see.
Teddy and I spent many an enchanted afternoon
earnestly searching for the fairies
she assured me dwelt amongst her columbines,
and I could swear I actually glimpsed one once!

Those were wonderful times
filled with golden sunlight, and stars
that occasionally fell from Heaven.
I truly believed that I would someday
find one and pick it up,
then every wish, every dream I'd ever had
would surely come true, so life
could stay this magical forever.

So, if every picture tells a story,
what is this one saying about me?
Did this little girl find her fallen star
and hold on to her dreams? Sadly not it seems,
for I have lost her sense of wonder
in everyday things, her simple happiness.
I have grown so complicated.
I am wary, untrusting and cynical.

I suppose, over time, life's betrayals
gradually erode a child's faith in humanity,
distorting it, cancer-like, into an ugly scar
on the surface of her Soul.
Defences then rise up, encircling this wasteland
like fortress walls, preventing further damage.
The trusting child mutates into suspicious adult.
My Spirit is broken today. I have lost my way.

But, maybe there is still a faint glimmer of hope
because, surely, what once was must still be
in some form, somewhere.
Perhaps if I can only find the courage
to unearth this slumbering child
from beneath these heavy layers of disillusionment,
then I could reawaken her in the depths of my heart.
For she is my Destiny.......


  1. I think your words here capture the memories most of us have of those days long past. For me it was swashbuckling pirates, snakes & piston engine aeroplanes.
    Don't get despondent, apparently it all comes back in our twilight years!

  2. Thank you for such a comforting comment. So glad I'm not alone in wishing for days gone by. Life as an adult can be hard sometimes, can't it?!

  3. Hi Ygraine,
    It is so strange that no matter how hard we try we can never recapture those childlike qualities. I love looking at chldrens' paintings and drawings there is just something magical there! :)
    A wonderful walk down memory lane with you - wonderfully written!

  4. Hello my friend! I have been visiting your blog. Cool! Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congratulations for your work. I invite you to visit my blog at:
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Rose,
    I just found that old photo when I was clearing up and all the memories just started surfacing! I simply had to write them down. So great to have someone to share them with. Thank you so much for your company!

  6. Hi Nel,
    Thank you for visiting my blog. I am so glad you like it. It is great to be able to share all these inner thoughts and feelings with someone. Keeps me sane!!

  7. My first time here thanks to Rose posting a link to this nicely written piece that has inspired her.

    It has also given me pause to think and want to share my thoughts about what you have said. I do not know you nor have I read anything else that you have posted so please just take my comments in the context of this piece and in the good spirit in which they are intended.

    I too went through maturation training and I too put the defenses up "encircling this wasteland like fortress walls" until I realized that my kingdom was not a wasteland and that my fortress walls were but the terraced garden walls of old.

    Your child is not slumbering, the adult won't let her speak. Tend your garden, let her speak.

  8. What a wonderful way to look at it! Your words have given me enormous inspiration. Thank you. Thanks also for becoming my follower. Welcome!

  9. We forget to gather the important things while leaving aside the others, as a child would. But I think we can become unlearned (in the best sense) if we want.

  10. Hi Daniel, yes, I think you are absolutely right! Sometimes we seem to get caught up in the negative side of life and overlook its incredibly beautiful aspects. Maybe overcoming this tendency is part of our evolution.

  11. there is still hope, as long as her memory lives in you, she lives. Don't be afraid to be her every now and then.

  12. Thanks for your insight, Karime. Sometimes I am still able to be her, but as time moves on it seems to become more and more difficult! :-)

  13. Norfolk. By Sir John Betjeman.

    How did the Devil come? When first attack?
    These Norfolk lanes recall lost innocence,
    The years fall off and find me walking back
    Dragging a stick along the wooden fence
    Down this same path, where, forty years ago,
    My father strolled behind me, calm and slow.

    I used to fill my hand with sorrel seeds
    And shower him with them from the tops of stiles,
    I used to butt my head into his tweeds
    To make him hurry down those languorous miles
    Of ash and alder-shaded lanes, till here
    Our moorings and the masthead would appear.

    There after supper lit by lantern light
    Warm in the cabin I could lie secure
    And hear against the polished sides at night
    The lap lap lapping of the weedy Bure,
    A whispering and watery Norfolk sound
    Telling of all the moonlit reeds around.

    How did the Devil come? When first attack?
    The church is just the same, though now I know
    Fowler of Louth restored it. Time, bring back
    The rapturous ignorance of long ago,
    The peace, before the dreadful daylight starts,
    Of unkept promises and broken hearts.

    1. Beautiful, truly beautiful...Thank you...:)


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