Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Child's Heaven

A Child's Heaven

We played hide-and-seek under the moonlight--those happy days when we were kids, with the rubber trees silhouetted against the backdrop of stars and the gentle night breeze stirring their leaves.

Yes, we were all carefree kids and the world seemed so much bigger: the hills far and unreacheable; the jungles impenetrable, the rivers savage and uncrossable with their mighty torrents. Nature was our playground then: we fished, we picked fruits, and we harrassed the snakes and the birds--poor dwellers of the wild who were unlucky enough to have to suffer our rude intrusions.

We were happy and we were "princes of the apple towns". We were elves on a dalliance with the mortal world.

Childhood, especially a rustic one, always remains deep inside you, a constant wellspring of strength. We nourish from their memories. And later in life, when we are mired in the many deceits and pettiness of adulthood, we would long for those days when everything seemed "apparell'd in celestial light".

Yes, we were all naive and ignorant of the ways of the world then. But are we better off now? With our shallow sophistication and our selfish pride? Even when I was a kid, I used to feel a tinge of sadness whenever I read these lines by Thomas Hood:
I remember, I remember
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
to know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

And having glimpsed heaven as a child, everything else would seem to pale in comparison.

No comments: