This weekend the weather turned. The daffodils have been straining against the wind and the rain for weeks, but this weekend they were able to stretch up their heads and bask in the sunshine. The whole world and his wife was out walking along Hayling beach. This morning the pavement was covered in moss flicked out of the gutters by birds finding nesting material.
My daughter’s school is a mile from our house. Most days we walk. It’s good exercise and gives me time to think through my day on the way back, to focus. Today there was a little boy, aged two at the most, walking in the opposite direction to me with his mum. He stretched out his hand to touch the moss growing on the front wall of an old Victorian house. I couldn’t blame him. The moss is iridescent, lush and fluffy; a whole wall carpeted in verdant fur. Only his mum had other ideas. She yanked him away, scolding him not to touch it because, “No! It’s dirty.”
What a shame. I’m proud to say I let my girls get dirt under their fingernails, let them munch on dandelion leaves and lick out the inside of fuschia flowers. (Try it! They’re sweet!)
If there’s one sure way to kill creativity and imagination, it’s to not experience anything.