Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Day of Colour

Three small girls, always just a few paces ahead, skipping, galloping, pausing to listen. Clover flowers and buttercups in tiny fists, and a breeze held, momentarily, in their blonde locks.

Photo by Speckly Woo!

A long walk for short legs, all the way to the little bridge and back. Each in turn, they're raised up to look for trains. Blue eyes waiting for an engine to loom large on the zip-like tracks. Watching for one to tear down the line and undo the countryside.

No trains today, but not too much disappointment. Instead, held hands, and pointed fingers with questions dangling from each tiny tip. Questions like, "What are a dog's bones made of?" and "How did Jesus, on our Christmas card, die and then come back to life? Other people don't come back after they've died, do they?"

I have questions too, how do children manage to point at a tree or a bird, and promptly make enquiries about resurrection? And, why do we, as adults, think in such a cluttered and less colourful fashion?


  1. Wonderful prose - I love the image of the train on zipper tracks :) This made me think about The Railway Children. Adults are way too good at censoring their thoughts before transferring into speech. Apparently children are so much better at lateral thinking than adults and each year they age the ability lessons - such a shame.

  2. This captures the conversations of children so well! I love the way they can go from one topic to the next so effortlessly. And I love the photo!

  3. Very poignant Martin. And I also love the zipper analogy - you have a child like originality yourself.

  4. Gabrielle - I'm learning all over again, through the little ones.

    Lolamouse - Some of their logic can knock you flat, can't it?

    Rog - Thanks. "Child-like originality" the key to contentment?

  5. Beautifully written, Martin. 8-)

    My mind fills with questions and leaps from subject to subject... but people complain about that when you're in your 40's!

  6. But I suspect there is a kind of "second childhood" in terms of disassociated thinking - in my own case, anyway. There again it might be the onset of dementia.

  7. May I drop in? Yes, nicely written, with a beautiful conviction. I'm afraid I'd find it difficult to avoid inventing subversive answers to those questions. Not good. Subversion and innocence cancel each other out like an equation where the answer is x = 0.

  8. Hello, lovely grandpa.

    There are vast areas of empty space in a child's brain, they need filling.

    Are you enjoying 'The Book Thief', or is that a stupid way of asking? I loved it.

  9. What a wonderful post. I'd love to know what you answered about Jesus on the Christmas card! Oh to keep that nimbleness of imagination...

  10. Ahh... to see the world through the innocent, nonjudging, worry-free eyes of a child... as beautiful as the splash of color in your picture. I enjoyed this.

  11. Broken Biro - Thanks. Only those who have completely grown up, complain.

    Alan - I love the term, 'disassociated thinking'.

    Christopher - Tempting, isn't it? Subverting the subversives.

    Friko - I hear you. And, yes, I've just finished 'The Book Thief'. One of the best books I've ever opened.

    Christine - That nimbleness of imagination often requires the nimblest response. There are occasions when I'm found wanting.

    Laurie - Thank you. It was, indeed, a most colourful day.


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