A little boy lives in the house behind ours. His name is Julian. I think he’s three.
I hear him prattling away in the mornings on the weekend, often while I am still lying in bed. Our bedroom, at the back of our house, faces their back garden. He is up early because of the light. And he and his parents often do things in their garden, like sweep up leaves, or weed, not at 5am, but pretty early.
What strikes me about his conversations is his enthusiasm for life. His wonder at nature. His awe of everything.
“Daddy, Daddy, let’s fill the bucket.”
I’ve found a stone. Do you want a stone, Mummy? Do you, Mummy?”
“Here’s some grass, Daddy. Here’s some grass.”
I love the way he repeats his parents’ names, as if to reaffirm their existence. To reassure himself he is not alone.
He makes me think about life and nature, and about how, madly rushing about with our busy lives, we often forget to enjoy the small moments, to appreciate the simple beauty in front of our noses. New shoots on a tree, tender and bright green. Vibrant. The smell of newly mown grass. The dank darkness of a pile of autumn leaves.
So many of us seem to have lost our enthusiasm for life.
We’re busy whinging about this, that and the other. We seem to have forgotten how to live.