K and I read a mandarin book together once, where the characters lay down on a large green field and watched the clouds roll by. I told her, we’ll do that some time! And let’s see what shapes we can see in the clouds…
A few weeks later, out of the blue, she said, “Mama, when are we going to lie down on the grass and look at clouds?”
Turns out, it was harder to find a time and space for doing something as simple as that. I felt terrible that we hadn’t managed to do that, after so many days.
Before us parents said anything, the kids were off, lying on the grass, rolling with wild abandon (the slopes were pretty gentle, so we were quite relaxed about it) and stopping sometimes to stare at the sky. They found no less than three such slopes to roll, roll, roll down…
|The third slope they found|
We didn’t stop them; this is, after all, what childhood should be about. It was a fantastic afternoon, whiled away in the park… the adults spread a woolen picnic blanket and had a picnic, whilst the kids ran about, returning only for their favourite cheese snacks and some drinks…
|Girl dashing about in a park|
|Must. Keep. Running.|
The beauty of our day out also lay largely in the air conditioned clime. We could wander about, sit there for ages, without feeling too uncomfortable.
We also saw three spectacular birds with brilliantly green backs flashing past us, warbling pleasantly as they soared. Saw them again as they rested on the treetops. Pity I had neither the vantage point not the right camera to catch their breath-taking beauty. Still, it was enough to have seen them, and to gaze and marvel at their beauty.
|King’s Park and a black-and-white bird species we kept seeing in Perth|
All in all, it was a day where children could be children, and even adults had a chance to be children!
I felt that I re-learnt spontaneity that day. It was also so good to see their appreciation of the simple things in life – the amount of thrill and laughter that comes from just rolling down a slope, again and again and again.
It reminded me to let my hair down more, be spontaneous, and just enjoy myself to the full, when an opportunity for some good, clean fun comes along.
It also reminded me that happiness need not be expensive. It need not come from the material. Joy can be derived from something as simple as rolling down a green, grassy slope.