Sunday, November 11, 2012

The eagerness and freshness of youth.

"Oh, the eagerness and freshness of youth!
How the boy enjoys his food, his sleep, his sports, his companions, his truant days!
His life is an adventure, he is widening his outlook, he is extending his dominion,
he is conquering his kingdom. How cheap are his pleasures, how ready his enthusiasms!
In boyhood I have had more delight on a haymow with two companions and a big dog-- delight that came near intoxication-- 
than I have ever had in all the subsequent holidays of my life; for realities in after-life are seldom so impressive as imaginations in early life.

 In childhood we turn our thoughts to the country, as to the region of pleasure; we recur to it in old age as a port of rest, and perhaps with that secondary and adventitious gladness which every man feels on reviewing those places, or recollecting those occurrences, that contributed to his youthful enjoyments, and bring him back to the prime of life, when the world was gay and with the blossom of novelty, when mirth wantoned at his side, and hope sparkled before him."

I never tire of the "port of rest" that childhood memories bring. This piece is a combination of Henry W. Beecher and Samuel Johnson. The phrase, "when the world was gay with the blossom of novelty," captures for me much of what I long for and miss from childhood. The nearest I come to this is when traveling to distant destinations where the culture is different and the sights are new and I can drink of the "blossom of novelty." 

Photo by Rarindra Prakarsa. 

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