To what do we owe this loss of fascination with the world? A man becomes estranged to the details of what he is familiar. He is caught ensnared in his own dampening of the magic contained in every second of his potentially vivid perception of this strange place. He recalls childhood and wonders at the unusual state of excitement and entertainment which filled his heart. Each event is special to a child to some degree and the cycles of time, by seconds and days to blocks of seasons, pass along far slower, as if savouring the moment for all it has to offer. A child’s level of engagement with life is what is responsible; for his attention mulls over all the scents, sights, surfaces and sounds he can sink his teeth into.
Childhood, quite like the season of spring, appears to be a gift, where we without needing to be told, understand how grateful we need to be. It is the time of each man’s life in which his positivity is an integral part of his outlook and attitude. One can more or less spoil the child soon enough with unnecessary wants and needs which he originally hadn’t a taste for, yet the basics of how he thinks and feels are naturally wide open to any new influences nonetheless. He is downloading it all, without holding back an iota or inkling of honest greed for what fruits abound. The natural condition of a human being can be said to be fundamentally of this character and the seasons of one’s later life to be a gradual distancing from this degree and level of joy.
While in childhood the gift of engagement to life was passively provided by nature’s bounty, in adulthood we have to work for it. It is as if a door has been positioned where once there was only a wide gap from which all light and colour could enter. There are winds at work and the door is prone to close by the influence and gravity of this tempest force. A man must therefore learn to be aware of the door and to keep it open at all costs, regardless of what fateful ills or violent trespasses may storm upon him at any moment. For should that door close and stay shut for long enough, then a man forgets all about the original conditions of his youthful Eden, as Peter Pan did when he grew up.
How must we value such an effort and realize it continually as the greatest need amidst the toils of our everyday lives? Everyone around us forgets and then as they move to and fro and live their careers as adult human beings, something slowly atrophies and rots into a dried up fig of what used to be a brilliantly curious and playful creature. What is fact and not fiction is that the conditions of our creativity and flexibility of character all depend on our ability to keep that door forcefully open. This is the only way to defy the gravity of boredom, petty anxieties and fears, trivial daydreams and a distorted lens upon the behaviour of others. For all of these are psychological symptoms of a vine having turned stale and sour, and can only be remedied by re-engaging ourselves back into the world.