“A girl is
Innocence playing in the mud,
Beauty standing on its head, and
Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot”
- Allan Beck
‘Open the door now – but mind the kitten on your way outside – it would be so sad if we lost him, you see. . .’
Her golden curls catch the sunlight just so as she dashes off on denim legs, leaving her mother’s voice – and the cat – far behind her. She is in a hurry, because today there are puddles! With eyes lost in concentration and a stick in one hand, she studies the transient water. Taunting flashes of green through muddy brown, the leaves float – begging her to try. She does – and is rewarded with her own small victory…
The game is set, the child – lost to the boundaries of her imagination as she happily spears the crocodiles that swim through her mind and into the waters of her own private lake. She is aware, dimly, of the others that dance on the fringes of her world – running and shouting in their playtime bliss. But this game is her own, and she is not inclined to share it just yet. . .
Mud covered and fascinated, she chooses the path of isolation. A moment of hermitry amidst a world always brimming over with people. Joyful in her solitude, she hunts – Friends are ever to be found close by – but puddles in springtime are a fleeting joy. . .
Muddy toes leave blurry marks and sticks are carelessly tossed aside when the call sends her running to rejoin her friends. All manners are forgotten as they rush head over heels together in their hurry to discover what new adventures the afternoon might yet hold for them. . .
Now that play time is past, she harbors a fleeting regret in leaving her world behind, but her attention is diverted by her mother’s promises of soon again, and the whispering softness of a kitten passing by. . .
(inspired by a dear friend and onetime puddle hunter)
images dated 5.09.2012