Like a shaft of sunlight piercing the dark forest a childhood memory is stirred.
The touch of cold air upon skin, the scent of leaf mould carpeting frozen grass, a faint smell of coal fire and the light of the low winter sun conspire with this crystal peal of ice to transport me to a far off day.
Turning, I am met with a tableau of play, utterly free and innocent in it’s simple beauty and presence.
These children are utterly rapt and attentive to the sensorial joy of playing with the frozen pond, as I was in this very place some forty years before.
The deep participative nature of this experience holds them in the loving embrace of the natural world.
For a moment, modernity is forgotten and they enact that ancient lineage of the free being of childhood.
This freedom is their birthright and all too soon it is lost beneath the cynical armour of modern life.
The scene is redolent with both memory and the present moment; my child joins with their play whilst my adult rejoices at their liberation.
Perhaps, someone else stood here all those years ago, filled with similar beneficent sentiment, as my youthful self skimmed ice and gazed in wonder through its glassy surface at the magical world entombed beneath.
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Photo courtesy of the author.