There’s just something calming about being with children. Sure, they are unlovely when they refuse to listen or obey. But watching them play, and enjoying the simple things in life, you’d think all is good. Blowing out the candles on a cake… licking the cream off the plastic cake knife… all is well. No wonder so many people display pictures of their kids at work, or keep little pictures of them in their wallet. Because, to quote my friend EL, “they are more lovely”. I never really understood why, and yes my ex was rather grieved when I refused to put his photo in my wallet. But I think with all the hurricanes and typhoons blowing at work, I understand why people do that.
Which brings me to another point. Children playing in the streets are an indication of peace. In times of unrest, the children are tucked safely away in their houses, in their backyards. But when peace comes, they tumble out into the streets, playing with glee, their laughter tinkling through the air. It’s innate in them to play – although different children do have different definitions of play. Some may treat reading books as an adventure, as play. Others need to explore the streets around, and even the longkangs (drains). But play is innate. I wish the children of today could know the playgrounds of my time. Huge concrete slide structures, swings made from car tyres and wooden seasaws, all smack on a gigantic sandpit. Oh the joys those brought to my childhood!
And I’m going to end with a lovely quote from one of my favourite authors.
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.