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Children – take one a day with water

August 5, 2009

There are some days when you marvel at the world and thank your God or the Universe that you are alive. I’m going to tell you about my personal moment.

It was Friday, it was sunny and I was walking to the bus stop to get a bus to Canary Wharf. On the way I encountered three youths who were hanging around looking shifty outside a little park. It was only when I had almost passing them that I noticed the dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier which is the dog of fashion in London at the moment. As I passed, one of them saw fit to sing some little ditty about his missus and what he does to her. Class. As I continued, the dog started walking beside me. He was an absolute cutie. He was called back sharpish by one of the lads. I do like those dogs but looking at the owner I feared his future was sealed as a weapon to be used at a later date. So it was business as usual on the streets of London.

I reached the bus stop and noticed a group of children with a couple of adults on the grass. They were outside a playgroup building, which has been there for years, but I’d never seen anything outside it until that day. My heart soared as I saw these little wonders, around three to five years old running around chasing this huge man and squealing with delight. They ran their little hearts out but had no chance of catching him. He was darting here and there so they could try and follow him. In the end, the man and the little ones stopped the game and there, in the four corners of this patch of grass, were children catching their breath, panting like little marathon runners at the end of the line. But it didn’t end there. As the man was catching his breath, a little boy who was not part of the running game, grabbed the man’s leg as if he was the trunk of a tree and clung on. I tell you when my bus eventually arrived, I was grinning from ear to ear and that warm glow didn’t leave me for the whole day.

The contrast in the events of that day told me two things: life can be shit and people can be horrible but there’s also much to celebrate. As much as I’m able to I’m going to be even more childlike, to have that fearless joy that makes living more fabulous. It’s not about being Pollyanna, gooey, Stepford or happy clappy, but it is about trying to keep the heart from shrivelling up and dying before the rest of our body does. We owe it to ourselves, don’t we?

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