“Mom, There’s a Dinosaur in the Garden!”

Little children never walk anywhere,

they run here, there and back

and then roar off again

in an ongoing game which leaves

them breathless between shouts

as they jump and fall over

the playground of this world and

take-off into their imaginations

on the paper planes they built yesterday.

 

They barely even notice me

as I walk home everyday

and if they do, they stand stockstill

and look shyly at the ground

embarrassed by the adult invasion

with its steady pace and quiet voice

before they scream again and fly away,

once more into the fray and the

imaginary crusade of the sandpit.

 

It’s the highlight of my day,

walking through that playground

and intruding for a few steps into

a very different world where

everything happens extra fast

and I have to dodge balls flying

into imaginary goals and little boys

chasing each other with hand-guns

and the most terrifying sound-effects.

 

It makes me smile to think I was like them,

all these free beings who run around

as fast as their legs will carry them

because there is literally not a moment

to waste when life has so much on offer.

They’re captivated by unfiltered imagination,

taken with the wonderful exuberance of it all,

those unbounded horizons of childhood

where every day is a discovery and

every discovery something to be shared

with as many people as possible

because surely they’ll be interested too.

 

I found a huge cow bone in the garden once

which my mom had given to the dogs

who had promptly buried it for this

intrepid archaeologist to unearth

a very smelly week later.

I was convinced it was a dinosaur

and could barely contain my excitement

enough to speak as I rushed in to tell my mom

that her precious garden was about to become

a world-famous dig where a six-year-old

had discovered the real Jurassic Park.

 

A little bit of childhood dies with every

imaginary dinosaur that we unearth,

until we forget that there are any treasures

buried beneath the dirt and drudge of daily life

and that there are always unknown places

we can explore, if only because it’s fun.

Everyone has to grow up, I get it,

but it makes me happy

to walk past the playground

each afternoon, if only in the hope

that the ball might roll over to me

so that I can kick it back and the

small boy who was left behind can,

just for a moment, run with his arms extended

and celebrate another goal imagined.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s