My childhood sphere was pastureland
and the pebbled riverside:
broad enough for a bold imagination.
It was a gorse-bush maze
and the old Victorian train station.
It was bounded by the blue hills
which measured out
the limits of the known world.
Back in those long-forgotten days
a long-forgotten child
wondered what secrets these mountains held, untold.
I travelled to those blue hills on the bus
one day in May
on the threshold of adulthood, seeking something
though what, I cannot well precisely say
I yearned: an untamed heart within me burning.
What I found there was nothing short of heaven: nothing short
I’d skip off school to spend time in the wild.
Restraining ropes of expectation
had not yet been wrought
To tame this sylvan spririt, flower-child.
These memories remain, my childhood sphere
imagination – let me linger here.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Sharing with earthweal
This is not a sonnet in the strict sense, as I haven’t stuck to the rhyme scheme and metre, but it is intended to be sonnet-like, with the volta at the end. Just flicking back through the memory files and remembering my childhood in Cumbria.
Sharing with earthweal’s Open Link Weekend.
This is right up my strasse, Ingrid: well done! The atmosphere, naturally; the skilled balance act between childhood and adulthood – the deft avoidance of sentimentality (no mean feat), the clear, uncloyed, conjuring; the writing (of course), the imagery. I particularly like the allusion between ‘skipping’ and ‘rope’.
– up on the high wire again!
Wow, the skipping and rope thing – even I didn’t spot that! The muse works in mysterious ways…thank you Nick x
Love this x
Thanks – you can’t beat Cumbria, eh lass?
Well, I’d swap it today for somewhere with no wind and rain! 😂
It’s getting sunny here now, but we’ve had our fair share!
It sounds so lovely, Ingrid–the pastures and the blue hills in the distance. It seems you’ve always had that roaming spirit!
Thanks Merrill -I think you are right!
I too have those wonderful childhood memories of wandering free in the surrounding landscape, something my own children did not enjoy. (K)
I’ve heard it said that childhood is a golden ball of light — that “sphere” you mention — which is halved and quartered and sliced to almost nothing, which is adulthood. How wonderful it is intact in your imagining, and share it so broadly here. A lovely, lively float. – Brendan
Thank you Brendan
Oh this is wonderful. My reactions to poems are generally emotional, and this one takes me to a childhood I only knew in parcels, sampling the freedom of nature in holidays away from London.
Still haven’t made it to Cumbria. Saw your mountains once in the disturbance in a fraught drive from Glasgow to London….they looked very tempting.
Thank you so much. I highly recommend visiting, though you’ll be lucky to get a sunny day there!
Oh yes, let us linger in the memories of childhood. Sigh. I loved this poem so much.
Thank you Sherry 🙏
A love and connection to nature that you found early and have held onto, as is evident in your writing and one that you clearly cultivate in your own children. Your heavenly poem epitomizes the freedom and imagination that ignites when children and their natural surroundings become one. I love that you carry that free child with you and are a champion for protecting what so beautifully influenced you. 💖
Thank you Michele, I do what I can 🙏
You are welcome. We appreciate your doing!
Thank you 🙏
I wonder how children today don’t even know what they miss ~
I suppose if they have never experienced it. I know I’m too overprotective of my children but I do take them out in nature a lot.
That sounds so lovely, Ingrid!
Yeah, it was pretty nice! Thanks David 😊
I so enjoyed exploring your childhood in Cumbria, Ingrid, which was different from mine in South London. I would have loved growing up in pastureland, by a pebbled riverside with a view of blue hills; we had to make do with railway sidings, a tree-lined alley and a football pitch, but we still found beauty and adventure. Thankfully, I found my sylvan spirit, flower-child in other places I have lived, and I’ve let her roam free here in Norfolk.
I’m pleased to hear that Kim! Benji just loved growing up in South London, especially the day-long adventures on the public transport system! I think our childhood imagination is boundless, and more important than the setting we find ourselves in.
Where did you live in Sth London?
Well it was Ewell Village near Epsom but still within the M25 😅 how about you?
My dad grew up in Streatham, my mum in Bemondsey and then Mitcham, where I grew up. Mum and Dad moved to Tadworth when I was five and then back to Mitcham and Wimbledon. When I returned from Germany and Ireland I lived in Tooting for a couple of years and then to Twickenham.
Beautiful Ingrid. There is a magical quality about this.
What I found there was nothing short of heaven: nothing short..
Thank you: I tried to capture the magic of childhood.
You succeed it 🤗❤️🌹
what a wonderful memory of childhood and wonder.
Happy Mother’s Day Dear Ingrid❣️
Thanks Cindy: I am so confused as it’s already been Mother’s Day twice here: but I’ll take another one 😂💕🥰 I hope you are having a great day and being spoiled 🤗
That is soooo funny and yeah, you take what you get I expect!❣️💖🌷❤️ Hope you were duly celebrated🌷🙏💓
Yes I did pretty well yesterday, thanks 🌺 hope you did too! 💕
oh good.. It was lovely thanks!! 💖
What a beautiful piece. So full and resonant with your love of place. Such a lovely read.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙏
I love this especially the last few lines.
Those childhood places in our hearts are always a beacon. Well written dear lady, may that child always walk with you 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋
Thank you 🙂
Oh wow. Gorgeous 💛
Thank you 😊