A Shifting Perspective
It’s a cliché to remark on how spending time with children helps you see the world through a child’s eyes, but this week I really felt it. With an hour to go until teatime, Olive, Ash and I were walking the dogs in a nature reserve near our house, trying to see how many brimstones we could spot. When the sun came out it was verging on balmy. No coats, great tits calling from the trees, and the sound of slow-running water as the last of yesterday’s rain slipped away downstream.
We were having such a nice time, but I was dogged by the feeling that we should get back for some reason. We couldn’t possibly drift around here for another hour; there were jobs to do and dinner to cook. But when I suggested to Olive that we head home, she said: ‘No mummy. I want to stay here forever.’ And then: ‘Let’s sit on these logs and have a chat.’ So we did. We sat and talked about our favourite animals, and then completed our fifth loop of the field in search of more butterflies. We watched the dogs drink from the stream and contemplated a tennis ball that was stuck in the bank. Olive learnt the word ‘celandine’ and looked for birds’ nests, chewing on a muddy stick like Del Boy chews on a cigar.
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And although it was uncomfortable and unfamiliar, I saw the world through her eyes and realised there was no reason why we couldn’t stay longer. Dinner would still be cooked. The cacophony of adult responsibilities would still be waiting, no quieter or louder than before. We’d waited all these weeks for spring, so why not resist the urge to achieve and produce and simply soak up the world instead?
It’s been a good week for shifting perspectives. You may have noticed this newsletter is coming to you from a different platform, and that’s because I’ve switched over to Substack! After lots of useful feedback from my audience, I decided Substack was a much better platform for sharing my work and sending out my newsletters, so I’ve taken the liberty of moving you guys over to here, and I really hope you’ll stay. You can also check out all the other content I create for paid subscribers here, too. Just click here to browse my archive, and if you’d like to try a paid subscription, you can sign up to a 7 day free trial.
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