Nostalgia is found in the eyes of the youth that surround us, we just have to remember how to open our eyes again to their world.
As we get older it is a simple thing to forget those effortless smiles. The ones you make when you spot a robin in winter. The joy of getting away with jumping in puddles as your mother glares at the muddy watermarks that now decorate your coat, but it’s okay because you have your wellies on. Or finally succeeding in the approach of the ducks so that they take the bread directly from your nervous fingers.
As time rushes forward we forget to see the little things, our mind always minutes or even hours ahead on the days tasks to complete. It’s in these times I find a sentimental yearning to return home and rejoin the questionable notion that winter is the perfect season for the beach.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to this peculiar past time, only this time it is more my sister who is leading this adventure. My mother, of course there but slightly more reluctant these days. I am also slightly less excited to step out of the car into the rain, the wind so cold it burns your ears. But nevertheless we are being cheered on by the new generation of wild things.
We have already gathered we are close as every cherub like face warmed from the car heater has arisen to claim they can see the sea. When only the grey of the sky can reflect in the cold waters ahead I very much doubt they see anything, but I remember listening for the sound of seagulls to be the first to give claim to what my eyes never saw, and these little ones are smart. I listen for their strained song and sure enough they are waiting for our company to join them.
Once the sea truly is insight there’s little time wasted to begin the race to be the first to have their feet dance in the waves. I may no longer take part in this race but that simple smile is the warmest thing to surround me in this moment. My role now is to add to the collection of illusions that entertain the wild things and generate some level of heat in their bodies!
As the little ones search for shells with enviable enthusiasm, the once young join together to recall memories of similar days. I’m one to look forward in life but there is something to be said for reliving the past, for sharing moments through the generations no matter how bizarre the idea may be. You just have to trust in that simple joy again that you were once able to find in the smallest of things. Nostalgia is found in the eyes of the youth that surround us, we just have to remember how to open our eyes again to their world.
It is not long before we are pulled back to the present, the exhaustion of keeping ones body moving every moment has set in for the wild things and new demands of fish and chips have to be met. Unfortunately we are that family. The ones you see throwing chips to a single bold seagull that approaches with a confidence that is slightly unnerving. In moments we know why and an entire flock descends upon us. Giggles shriek out of the little ones and we resume our adult roles and try to bring order to this invited chaos, not that any of it really matters. We are of course alone on this beach, it is winter after all.