When I was a child

wheniwasachildI used to play in a den in the lane behind my house. It wasn’t really a den. It was just a space beneath a tree. But I made it my den.

The den was invisible to adults and to most other children, but it became something interesting to me through the power of my imagination.

The den was an inhospitable place, full of dirt and open to the rain. I made it better suited to my needs by placing straw on the ground as a carpet, and building a door out of sticks of wood and some string I found.

The den fed my imagination and gave meaning to my life as I played in it, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends.

In a sense you could say that the den didn’t really exist. Nobody made it. It was just a space under a tree. It certainly had no discernible purpose, yet I imbued it with a purpose of my own.

Now that I’m an adult, I tend to think that the universe is just like my old den.

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9 responses to “When I was a child

  1. You’re so lucky to be able to think of the universe that way. Too many people lose that faith in imagination when they grow up – a recurring theme from Blake and Wordsworth to Puff the Magic Dragon. (And thanks, Steve, for your Amazon comments on “Mr. Robert’s Bones.)

  2. Really nice post…

  3. We wrote one time at Door of Hope writing group about a special childhood place. So many folks wrote about a secret outdoor hideaway they’d created. The magic is bringing it into your adult life–wonderful!

  4. May I use the text of this post as a reading comprehension exercise in an ebook of English for Finnish 13-year-olds?

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