I found myself wondering a while ago about what it must’ve been like for me the first time it rained. I can’t seem to remember it, but I do hope that I hadn’t seen it on TV or been told about it until it happened.
I suppose there’s wonderfulness in the resourcefulness of the digital age. I know a lot about France, and I’ve never been there, and I know about the Northern Lights, enough to write a poem about them even though I’d never actually seen them. I’ve walked the small back alleys of Marseilles and danced around in the moors of the Highlands and I’ve retraced the steps of Hemingway up Shakespeare&Co. I’ve taken a swim under a waterfall and looked out of a bedroom window onto the thick green woods; I could even talk to you about the crickets that sing me to sleep and the sound of trampling gallops that wake me up at night.
I’d like to know what it feels like to be surrounded by the unknown, if even for once. I want to remember what I thought about the water falling out of nowhere while I chased a friend around in the park. Did I think the land was going to turn into a sea? Did I think somebody was emptying a giant bucket somewhere? Or did I just stand there and let it wet my hair and soil up my pretty pink shoes? What is it like to really, truly experience something for the first time? To soak in the beauty of the unknown without the biased stories your friends tell you, without the warnings your parents harangue you with? What is it like to land in Paris and see that magnificent lit up Eiffel Tower that you’ve heard so much about, glimmering in the centre of the city as though the stars decided to align just for your arrival?
I wonder what it would’ve been like to fall in love for the first without knowing about all the stigma that surrounds it? To feel my heart race and my brain concede and I’d know in my core, with all my being, that I’ve fallen and that it doesn’t matter, that it actually feels good? There are no fears, no cautionary tales, no stunting history.
Most importantly, I’d like to know what it felt like the first time I learned something. That first time I sat down in a classroom and learned about the rain and the forests and the physics behind a bouncing ball. What was it like to learn for the sake of learning? Not for the grades, not for the jobs, not for the success…? Before beginning to wonder if it distorted the way I viewed the world around me?
What was it like not to wonder? Just to accept, to enjoy? Just to be…?
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