Monday, August 19, 2013

A Sunny Afternoon in Childhood - Paradise Creek

I think fondly sometimes of those eggshell blue days of childhood when there was a spring in everything and an incessant chorus of birds in the trees. The sea was lulled always and the sun went on long into the evening, casting its shadows as I drew trails on the beach, away from my parents, beyond a headland and out of reach. Somewhere amid shifting sands there were sea caves and coral and then the day of mist when we skipped across rocks and drew back at the sight of a crab, monstrous and magnificent in his red enormity.



Then there were the moors, the swathe of heather that blazed purple beyond the tennis court, the lazy thwack of ball on racket and the magnificent moors rolling leagues like the waves on the sea and the serrated rocks.

There was even wonder too in the castle, crumbled and dour that straddled the border between England and Wales and the clear kinking river, a silver blade cutting the forest, ringing on rocks, the sound of the rapids and the half remembered name Bibbling Bridge and babbling brook and those glades where elves could have lived, west of Watersmeet and east of Eden.

Many days had passed before we went back but some of the magic of childhood had drained away. There was the urgent flicking of the numbers on the clock, forms to be filled in, the need to get back before dusk, the to-ing and fro-ing the incessant nagging; the worries that should not be worries.

 

We went far over the cliffs. Like the opening of a great white curtain Gallantry Bower appeared, a giddy sweep of cliffs and a long drop down to the sea where the spherical rocks ground in the surf. Still we walked down to Mouth Mill, a shuttered up cove and the embrace of sleep came upon us.

I wonder now if the magic has gone for good. The path up the hill and the vanishing point to that hopeful sky reminds me. But I crest the hill to see a heavy concrete plant beside this park reclaimed from asphalt, its rivers newly unchoked. And when I see the 3-year-old I wonder if magic is in his limited vocabulary.

Or has the world moved on a long time ago?

13 comments:

  1. I love the phrase "eggshell blue days," what a perfect description of childhood. I hope the magic is still there for this little guy.

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  2. Your description was beautiful. You know what they say, 'you can't go home again.' My fave beach, which was just magic to me, is Spring Hill in my hometown. It had small rustic cottages when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. It's a private beach and all the cottages were boarded up for the winter and it became a ghost town till spring. You drive down there now and the cottages have been replaced by large homes and it's now a year-round residential beach. Broke my heart. And the sad thing is, my dad sold their cottage in 1977 and it was the first one torn down to make way for an ugly 3 story monstrosity of a home.

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    1. so sorry re your cottage JoJo - it does sound idyllic..

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    1. Thanks Regine - off to check out your blog.

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  4. Lovely, the magic of childhood is special but places aren't always disappointing when you go back later. It depends if you carry on going there up to adolescence because, being more compos mentis, you're likely to remember it in a more realistic way than you would as a child.

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    1. for real Sarah - there are many places in France I think I'd appreciate more now..

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  5. "Butterfly! BUTTERFLY!" :D ♥♥

    The magic is definitely still there. You captured it very well with both your words and that video.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to watch the vid Daisy - he was certainly into the butterfly

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  6. Beautiful writing, great descriptive detail, so missing from writing today as everyone wants action, action, action. Lovely and a pleasure to read! But sad to say the going home again never seems to work.

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    1. Thanks Yolanda - do try out some poetry-esque stuff now and then :)

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