Through a child’s eyes…

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I love Lady’s Mantle… Alchemilla mollis… the soft little alchemist. The shape and gentle shade of the downy leaves and the pale froth of yellow-green flowers. It is a lovely thing in my eyes. Yet it is not till the rain falls on the upturned leaves that you see its full beauty. Tiny creatures are caught in the water droplets, magnified into strange shapes. The water looks like ice, the surface tension palpable. I am reminded of the movement of mercury. Diamond-bright spheres nestle in the folds like so many crystal balls and the child who gazes into them can see worlds and dreams unfold there.

nicks 02622A cluster of tiny orb weaver spiderlings on the fence… hundreds of miniature jewels, alive and wriggling… the whole ball no more than an inch across. They had come together and woven a world. The finest of webs anchored them to the fence. Just watching them my imagination wove stories too… flashes of fairytale and science fiction, incomplete and exciting; ephemeral images that were gone as soon as they arose.

birds 2 0541A fly lands on a rose leaf, brilliant and iridescent. A creature usually an annoyance revealed in all its beauty, illuminated by the morning sun, casting rainbows from its back. Tiny, sensitive hairs protrude from the colour and multifaceted eyes looks back with an expression I cannot read. It is an alien creature. Another lands on the fence, metallic turquoise, the colour of ancient Egypt… I dream of a land unseen and a time long lost in the gilded mists of another clime.

birds 2 064A big bumble bee with its deceptively lazy flight lands on the pond brush, left to dry on a flower bed. What can it be looking for amongst the plastic bristles? What has it found to keep its interest? It ignores me completely as I watch, seeing the light reflect on the flat planes of its legs, wishing I could stroke the fat, furry body. Is it a bumble bee? I think it might be a tree bee… the fox red and the white rump… It doesn’t matter, it is beautiful anyway. I remember fairytales from my childhood about bees… they are magical creatures.

birds 2 062Another lands briefly on an orange rose; a last raindrop trembles on the tip of a leaf, mirroring an inversed world. The heart of the rose is a firework exploding into life… a rayed sun in a heart of flame. A universe being born. Close by the irises are opening in the pond and the stars are out as the seed pods of the marsh marigolds burst open revealing their hidden treasure of seeds. In each tiny seed new life awaits, and that is both magic and miracle.

birds 2 048“I have forgotten how to play.” I read this sad statement a few days ago. The ability to play as children is something we take for granted until, one day, we realise we are grown and the carefree games cease. If we are lucky, we may share play with children of our own, laughing with them and feeling once again the inner liberty that can express itself through the unselfconscious movement of body and the imagination. If we are luckier still, we do not forget but find other ways for that inner child to be held in wonder at the world as it unfolds before our eyes.

birds 2 091Yet the heart and eyes of a child live on in all of us; asleep, perhaps, ignored sometimes. Do you remember the child you were when the adults talked over your head? Or when you were told it was bedtime yet you could hear people still laughing downstairs? Remember how that felt?

nicks 1There is a child within who still wants to play, to gaze on the world with eyes full of wonder and a light heart. To feel the magic of fairytales alive in the buzzing of a bee, to weave delicious stories around faces in rock and tree.  Sometimes, all you have to do is open your eyes and heart, letting your imagination run wild with bare, grass-stained feet and the Otherworld will open its doors and let you in.

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24 thoughts on “Through a child’s eyes…

    1. Anyone who lets imagination play…artists, wriers, crafters, musicians… and the dreamers, those who make gardens, wander the world or teach children… they have all kept that ability to look out through a child’s eyes.

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  1. The Otherworld has always been open for me, and in many ways I prefer it to the world we are forced to live in. I escape to enjoy the magic as often as possible, always sad when I leave, but one of these days I may just stay there…

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  2. Beautiful post, Sue and I love the photos. Funnily enough, I was wondering when it was we stop running and skipping – just running for the joy of feeling the grass under our feet and the wind blowing through our hair. Not going anywhere, certainly not grimly pounding the pavement like marathon runners, just enjoying our body moving.

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  3. I loved this post, Sue, I still play, be it with Dante in the garden, or Becca at night when I tell her faery stories, made up from my imagination. Or when I paint figures just glimpsed, faces out of tree bark, oh my world is magical and thank Goddess, my aunt and uncle who brought me up, had minds like mine as well. xxx

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    1. I do think upbringing has a lot to answer…or be thanked…for. I was encouraged to see fairies and tree spirits rather than being told they only existed in stories. I am forever grateful for that 😉 xx

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  4. Such wonderful , as in full of wonder photos. You explain this so beautifully. I want to use my imagination to the full.
    I don’t see my grandchildren very often but love to see the photos of them peering into flowers, lifting stones, investigating holes being children.💜

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    1. Thanks, Willow. Imagination is a great gift and we don’t often stop to realise that fully.
      I am lucky to live very close to my granddaughters. I still don’t see them as often as I would like, but they are never more than a smile away. ❤

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