Its amazing how nature and the natural can rule kids, even before they realise what it is they’re experiencing….
I was running this morning, a long run, a long time for thoughts to wander, and stimulus to seep in. By a leafy path and a twisting stream, there was a kid, no more than 12 months old, in a pram, watching ducks, pointing, shrieking, excited, thrilled. A duck disappeared below the waterline, and he screamed and cried.
I thought to myself as I ran further: I wonder if that kid even knew it was a duck? – to him, what is a duck? – It could be anything. – Like a bounding dog, scaring a child, exciting a them to pant-wetting thrills; a koala, sleeping, as innocuous as anything, curiously cuddly; a fish, under the water, on a pristine beach, perplexingly beautiful, colourful, enthralling…
All these things have the power to enthral or upset children, to fascinate deeply, but their wonder and power, their simplicity, for some reason, is lost on us adults – why?
Why should children and infants only see and appreciate and by captured by the simple awe, feel connected, so easily, and with such profound effect, to birds, dogs, mice, marsupials, leaves on the ground, even lightning, the clouds, the moon or the rain?
Are they more connected, because they’ve less on their mind? Because the forces of nature are so fresh and real, in their newborn conscience?
Is it a pure, basic instinct, to be fascinated by nature, and therefore, feed our very essence? Are infants and children alike, just lapping up what they instinctively know they need the most? Ignoring everything else?
What can we learn from this? From our children?
We obsess over things to make us feel. We search, constantly, for ‘meaning’, something ‘real’, some inspiration. We trawl websites, and magazines, and ’newsfeeds’ and blogs, tv shows, looking to our peers, to ‘friends’ online, to those we believe are ‘successful’ or ‘high achievers’, clicking, swiping, tapping, uploading, downloading, sharing, liking – its all 2d, synthetic, diluted, controlled, agenda-laden, artificial, synthetic , and it doesn’t seem to be working..
Why did we forget, how did we forget, that the things that once made us feel the most, think the most, be the most – the things that filled us with the most wonder, and awe and excitement and new emotion, unfelt and wild, were once those ducks on the stream?
published in Adbusters #119 VOL 23 No.3