Free as a Child

Wings spread, songs of flight ring out from her heart as she runs round and round through a forest of legs and chairs. She glides to a halt by the place from where food comes and smiles up at Mumma bird.

Savouring the sharp crunch and sweet juices of a well-earned grape, she takes off.

With a heavy breath, Mumma walks off, arms heavy with a cold, plastic washing basket. Mumma pulls a tiny jumper down over baby bird’s head mid-flight, “it’s freezing.”
Wings bound, baby bird collapses in a heap, tears welling up, “but I have feathers Mumma…”

This week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch Communications is inspired by a Juxtaposition; comparing or contrasting the natural world to our human world.

I haven’t been vigilant enough this week in making the time to look for inspiration for this prompt, so of course, it’s once again a last minute entry.

Today I sat down, wanting to contribute.
Not wanting to make the excuse of being too busy.
Not wanting to say that my Novel was the priority when the real issue was that I hadn’t tried hard enough.

I refused to give in this week to habits of old.

So I sat at the computer, for a good 10 minutes, staring out the window at the trees, the sunshine, the butterflies and our two wonderful dogs, looking for something to write about.

I managed to compile many different lines and ideas in my head.

None of them felt right, so instead, I abandoned the computer and lay down beside our almost-3-year-old daughter.

She sat on the floor, creating a little scenario between her recently favoured little sea animal toys, changing her voice as she spoke between characters.

Her tone lifting and falling with each different emotion.

And I found my inspiration.

I wanted this piece to represent the natural freedom of the imagination in childhood vs. the constriction of the ‘real world’ in adulthood.

With increased responsibilities as we grow older, our minds become preoccupied by the necessary. The things we need to take care of in order to survive in our modern human civilisation.
From finances, to health and appointments, to household maintenance and organisation.

We leave little time for the imagination and it gets pushed aside, fading to the darkness in the back of our minds.

In order to be creative, I think we need to make time to daydream. To let go of this world and create our own. Not to escape—I do so love my life and what I’ve achieved—but to return to our childhood mindset of freedom.

Freedom from the modern and imposed fears of judgement and isolation.

We need to find that freedom in order to create exactly what our hearts truly want instead of fearing what others will think and whether they will accept us.

The act of combining our childhood nature and using it to enhance our experiences in adulthood is a tough lesson to learn, but one that will make us all stronger.

One that will free us.

8 thoughts on “Free as a Child

  1. I think you’re right, Rebecca. With each passing year in adulthood, we seem to lose that grasp on “wisdom” that defined, in a way, our childhood. As for the post itself, I think it flew well and it was enjoyable to read that little excerpt of your life as a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find your post so inspiring! Like you, I push forward past those tough walls because I also seek the freedom of imagination. I understand what you mean, that it’s not an escape but a place to create, to connect. I love your flash fictions that include family and the childlike wonder of exploring the “forest” of legs and chairs is brilliant. Great juxtaposition and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely flash. I love the way children can be anything they want and sad that we lose it as we get older because of course we still can be anything we want. Perhaps it is easier for writers to do so. Perhaps being around young children allows you to see the world through their eyes and makes it easier to return to imaginative activities.
    I agree that the more we can be in touch with our child the happier we will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your flash, Rebecca. The image of the little bird, as the child so firmly believes she is, flapping around Mumma’s legs, and incensed at being given a jumper, is priceless. Why would she need a jumper, indeed, when she has wings to keep her warm!
    I think you have captured the truth of childhood imagination in this piece, and it is imagination that we need in adulthood, not only in our writing, but in finding ways to “imagine” solutions to problems in our everyday lives.
    Thanks for sharing this. It has that special feeling of wonder in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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