The Children of Our Civilization

The forest is big and wide.

It happens at times. You run dry, the words don’t come out and you don’t know what to write. So you don’t.

Nothing goes down on paper.

A few starts peter out and you look around for inspiration as a writer. You travel to the coast, to a beach house in a forest of pine trees, to try to write a story, to write anything.

A flicker comes… then it goes.

You’re tired from your work as a journalist and as a father of three. So you let it rest and you don’t write, you sit in the garden-cum-forest. You play with your children and you fix a leaky faucet. You kick the soccer ball really high and your youngest daughter, who is three, laughs and says, “Again.” You do it again. And she says, “Now catch it on your head!” You do. It hurts. But her laugh mends all. It is a full and hearty laugh, and it is just what you needed. So you round up the kids and off you go to the sand dunes in the forest behind your house in Pinamar on the coast of Argentina. And you climb to the heights of the dunes and you jump down and roll and tumble and fall. Your shoes fill with sand and so do your pockets and your ears and your hair.

You look back up at your three children at the top of the dune and they launch themselves and tumble down with fat smiles on their faces.

The sand flies.

Then they pick up long sticks and they carry them with purpose, for they are no longer the children of our civilization. They are in another world. It is their world and these are sticks of adventure. You can see it in the moistness of their eyes, the long looks of calm and vigor, of the discovery of something new, of facing the world before them. They climb the dunes and they venture deeper into the forest, and you with them, not to find anything, not to write anything. Just to be.

And that is what we do for the rest of the day all on our own – and together – in a great big forest.

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