Who doesn’t longs for childhood? I guess everybody does. Everybody wants to relive those carefree days of innocence, with no boundations (infinite imagination), no expectations or wishes ( I am not counting here the toys, candies etc 😁). When your life is guided by your heart rather than putting too much brain into everything. Its a human instinct afterall longing for the things that are easy. Yeah, we want everything and nothing at the same time. And this goes on till the end. I will elaborate this later.
So, what remains with us as we grow old are the glimpses which comes when we close our eyes and try to recall something which is gone now, which was easy. Glimpses of our first experiences which pinch us time to time when we do those things now like when we rode the bicycle first time, when we got our first prize for being good at school and even the bitter ones of being scolded for breaking mom’s favourite crockery piece and lying to her.
And apart from this are the most important things, the stories which were told to us by our parents, grandparents, stories that were gifted to us in form of graphic books, poems, comics. Whether it was the rhymes that we sung in our school assembly or the proses that we read were every story was simple with a deep meaning inside it which gave us happiness and amazement in that moment. We longed for the ending of the story, for the unraveling of the mystery because that gave us joy, that kept us engaged at that moment, instead of digging too deep and getting to know the deeper meaning of any tale. And we never knew how those experiences were arranging themselves in a chronological orders in our memory, and out of which random chapters kept on opening and haunt us in our lives, which we would be calling nostalgia. Ironically, we would be wishing to confront those fears by reliving them again instead of fearing them. We know we can’t.
Now, lets make a little change in this, why just read those tales and then pile them up in your memory lane? What’s the use out of it then? Some stories are meant to be read, then re-read and re-read for endless times in our lives. They have to be recited again and again, till they become the part of our daily lives. The stories that we would wish to return when sad, lost, happy, numb whatever may be the feeling. Even though those words are meant for a kid, still we want to read those innocent words that will be healing our lives, our soul, our body forever.
Yes, I am exaggerating so much onto reading those stories, because I also have done that. I also have stories to tell, which I have tried to engrave in my life again and again. I am sharing one of my favourites- “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
The story is of a boy and a tree and the relationship that they share which changes as time passes. When the boy is little, he plays with the tree by swinging from her branches, eating sweet apples, making crown out of her leaves. The boy loved the tree very much and so she was very happy.
Time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone.Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.
“I am too big to climb and play” said the boy.”I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money?
“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I have no money. I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy.”
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy again.
But the boy stayed away for a long time and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy.”
“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy.”I want a house to keep me warm,” he said.”I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?”
” I have no house,” said the tree. “The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy.”
And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy for him again.
And after a long time the boy came back again. “I am sorry, Boy”, said the tree,” but I have nothing left to give you -My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,”said the tree.
” You can not swing on them”
“I am too old to swing on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone, ” said the tree.”You cannot climb – ”
“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.”I wish that I could give you something….but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump.I am sorry….”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.
“just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, “well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.” And the boy did. And the tree was happy again.
This is not just a story of giving, but there is so much that this story gives us. This story amazes me everytime I re-read it. The two objects remain constant in the story i.e. the boy and the tree, what changes is the time and with time the expectations and thinking of the boy. Boy after all is a human being, and what I was talking about in the starting that we want everything and nothing at the same time. Similarly, the boy keeps on asking for everything, because he knows that the tree would be giving him everything at the cost of nothing. He keeps on exploiting her for life, satisfying all his wishes, desires and when he realizes at the end then also tree is happy to give whatever she is left with. That is all a man needs at the end of everything, nothing but a place to rest his head. This is life, this is truth and even after knowing this people still repeat this. They take everything for granted, giving value to nothing.
P.S. Now, who says, children’s day is only for children?When we adults have to be kept reminded of what is right or wrong. And there is nothing wrong in learning through out our life. So, fetch an old school book, any childhood books and re-read your favourite ones. Please, share some of your favourite ones in the comments as well. I would love to know them.
And Happy Children’s Day. Nourish the child in your body with kindness and warmth which could help others in need instead of always asking for more and more.