Never lose that mag­i­cal sense of won­der

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER - SEAN WOOD

VAN ‘the man’ Mor­ri­son wrote a beau­ti­ful song about a ‘Sense of Won­der’, and if ever a pic­ture I have taken il­lus­trates what he meant, then this lit­tle girl tak­ing gi­ant steps across the Gi­ant’s Cause­way in North­ern Ire­land is it.

With a ver­i­ta­ble skip in her step and a smile on her face, the Crown Jew­els and half a ton of ice cream would not have prised her away from the basalt mar­vel.

Whereas for me, the prom­ise of lob­ster, soda bread and a night on the Guin­ness was enough to tempt me back to the car after 20 min­utes, how­ever, I would like to think that I have re­tained the girl’s sense of won­der and greatly ad­mire those adults who have man­aged to cling to that part of their life.

My old­est artist friend, Scot­tish artist Edna Whyte, who is 85, still en­thuses about a se­ries of paint­ings that she is plan­ning for an ex­hi­bi­tion in two years’ time, with never a thought for hang­ing up the brushes, a great ex­am­ple.

It is a kind of Cap­tain Cook cu­rios­ity crossed with Gabriel Oak can­dour, and a dash of un­sul­lied in­no­cence thrown in for good mea­sure.

Tall or­der for an age­ing prop for­ward? Not on your Nelly.

David Bel­lamy has it, Richard At­ten­bor­ough by the bucket-load and this morn­ing I was ‘div­ing right in’ to my own sup­ply, at the sight of two short-eared owls shar­ing their early morn­ing field vole in front of me.

It was 7.30am, and a cool mist still hung in neck­laces around the small conifer plan­ta­tion as I be­gan to climb the Holme Moss road.

A dou­ble-take saw me face-to-face with one adult owl perched on a fence post.

It was no use stop­ping op­po­site the bird, no mat­ter how tempt­ing, be­cause it would just fly off, so I pulled up gen­tly about 30 or 40 feet fur­ther on and reached for the binoc­u­lars.

Mean­while in the wing-mir­ror two cars ap­proached, but for­tu­nately the owl was more con­cerned with the vole and stayed put.

So close did the binoc­u­lars take me to the owl, his yel­low eyes lit up the op­tics, and all thoughts of work were for­got­ten.

Two fur­ther cars and a noisy motorcycle later saw the bird lift off to­wards the moor, but the show was not over, and another adult lifted from the rough tus­socks in an at­tempt to share the short-tailed field vole which was swing­ing from the first bird’s un­der­car­riage.

After a minute or two of aerial com­bat and the mo­men­tary in­ter­fer­ence of a pass­ing kestrel, my morn­ing dis­play had lasted no more than five min­utes, but the desul­tory flight of th­ese long­winged, and day­time fly­ing owls, will last a long time. They are such a strik­ing owl, and when I lived at Crow­den, a daily en­counter over 28 years was the norm, I knew them and they knew me.

I am sure that some­times, peo­ple think, ‘what is he on’? But as I sat there with my ‘usual’ ba­con and tomato on toast, with white pep­per, the world was once again my oys­ter. And just to prove the point, and bring on one more inane grin, two ravens mak­ing their kro­nk­ing noise rolled down the hill as though poured from a glass.

From your many com­mu­ni­ca­tions, read­ers share the afore­men­tioned sense of won­der and that wide-eyed tad­pole in the jar joy, so ‘cheers’ to you all.

The lit­tle girl on the leg­endary Gi­ant’s Cause­way, is a metaphor for the amaz­ing things all around us, so, please, please, please, never stop look­ing.

●● A lit­tle girl tak­ing gi­ant steps across the Gi­ant’s Cause­way in North­ern Ire­land

The Laugh­ing Bad­ger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Pad­field, Glos­sop

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.