In the course of our life, there will be many place that we call home. None of those will be as important as the place we grew up in though, our childhood home. It was this place when we first saw the beauty of the world.
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In the summer last year I visited my childhood home for about a week. It felt nice to be back and it gave me the opportunity to reconnect with many of the things from my childhood. I spent a lot of time with my mother and I visited many of the places I used to frequent and hang out at as a kid.
The place I grew up in is a small village. It is nothing more than a few dozen houses in the middle of nowhere. Many of the places I visited were just old dirt roads, meadows, forest edges or even just a small group of trees or a tiny little river.
Those are not special or secret places mind you. You can find them almost everywhere, if you only get a little bit away from the buzz of the city.
Memories of Childhood
The reason these places are special to me is simply that I grew up there. I saw them with different eyes. Those of a kid. It was not just a few trees or a creek, but instead those were magical places to me.
As I was back there a lot of my childhood memories came back to me. How I was driving around my bike, exploring the area and going on adventures in those seemingly normal places. For me they were so much more.
As a kid I would go through the grass on the ground in search for colorful flowers. I would climb up trees to see the freshly sprouting leaves. Maybe I would sit in front of the holes of mice who lived underground waiting and hoping to see them, wondering what was down there.
Rushing through life
When I remembered these moments as a kid I realized that most of us go through life with our eyes closed.
When I stopped and simply looked around, I could see beauty almost everywhere in nature. It was there that I realized just how sad it is that we don’t give into that anymore.
As adults we simply rush from one thing to the next. We are too busy with work, our obligations, bills and everything else. There are distractions all around us that we simply give into. It is because of all these things that we keep our eyes closed and rush past all the beauty in the world.
The result is that life itself seems rushing past us.
Learning to see again
I think it is important for every one of us that at times we just stop and look around. Even if it is only for a minute.
I started to put some of my time away each day to take a walk. It is only for twenty or thirty minutes each day, but during that time I open my eyes wide. I look at blooming flowers, at trees, the sky, the sun, everything that is out there.
What I started to notice again is that even those mundane things that we see every day can be beautiful, if we just look.
It can be hard to learn to really see again. We are used to get from one place to the next as quickly as possible. There is the constant distraction of the internet, social media and our phones. What we have to learn is to take a break. Like I did when I was back at home. Get away from the computer, put away your phone and just go outside for a little bit. It doesn’t have to be long. Look at nature and try to find beauty. It is there, you just have to look
The Artist’s task
I think doing exactly this is extremely important as a writer, or as an artist in general. We have to get this childlike sense of wonder back. We need to go out into the world, look around and then convey those images and the emotions we feel in our work.
It is those little details that will make our writing, our art, more beautiful and so much more special. Because of that, our readers are able to relate to our art. It can make them feel more alive and allow them to witness the beauty we saw ourselves.
These seemingly simply, often mundane images, will make people remember about their childhood. It will help them to think back to a time when the world was a much newer, bigger place, and when there was magic all around.