… visiting places of my childhood.
I remember when my best friend Sabrina and I played our favorite game of all: Being our movie heroes while climbing up trees, exploring abandoned houses and sometimes carrying away bruises and scratches from being a little too enthusiastic.
As a child, the world not only looks different from a younger perspective, but we can see things that make it more colorful, magic and vivid. A ruin turns into an exiting castle. A lake into the ocean. And above all, it is for free. None of the games we loved the most, were bought or asked for. We turned our little world into our own playground and ignored the outside, dull grown-up cosmos.
Living with a feeling of nostalgia doesn’t mean to me, that the past in history is what I romantically hold on to. Next to the styles of certain eras, it means much more my very own past. The days I spent wandering, creating my memories that I cherish to this day.
No matter how a childhood is experienced, many of us know the feeling of freedom when the outside world was about to be conquered by ourselves. No one told us which street to take or grass to lay in.
Sometimes I wonder how different these years would have been, if cellphones and internet had been already part of a kids’ life. I would have likely spent a lot more time in a room, letting gadgets direct my thoughts and actions.
When a rainstorm made it impossible for me to go outside, I here and there wished to have my own TV, which too wasn’t all too usual back then.
I even begged my parents to make my life less of a boring existence on those days, by allowing me one. But unfortunately my tears weren’t as effective as I hoped and my mother shockingly suggested that I read book.
Back outside the exploring was about to start as soon as my friends and I spotted another wood or field to play in. One afternoon, I trudged through a cornfield, playing hide and seek with a school mate, when I heard an odd sound in front of me. Being unable to see anything through the maize, I parted the plants with both arms an stared right at the face of a deer. The animal turned away from me so fast, that I wasn’t even able to blink, and I don’t think that my state of shock would have allowed me to do so.
I can proudly say, that I did not wet my pants, but no one knows what another 2 seconds of this encounter would have lead to.
This story was my Indiana Jones-moment in school and at least for this summer, I felt a bit more grown up having faced fear so closely. In retrospect, it was likely the deer who was even more afraid of this pale small creature.
Other times, the parks and lovely green fields were the places of our exiting adventures far from school.
This Sunday, I revisited some of the places of my childhood, in the town of Malente, Northern Germany. Also called Bad (spa) Malente, which means that it is a health spa and aside from that, was a fabulous playground for us children.
It sure sounds lame when one simply quotes the endless memes flooding the internet with sentences like “I am glad that I did this when growing up, and not this”, comparing generations. But frankly, I too am one of the people who honestly embraces the thought of having had a childhood before smartphones. Today’s kids may have other advantages they will be happy one day to call part of their past. But as romantic and glorified some of my memories may sound, the strong I want to hold on to them. Since these recollections are treasures, hidden in the back of our mind, calming us or making us smile when the fog of reality might become too intense at times.
The feelings of freedom; that there is so much ahead of one. Laughter, tears and bruises. I carry these memories in my heart, keeping them for a rainy day so they‘ll make me smile.
Summer outfit with vintage cotton skirt, ballerinas, cardigan and a sun hat.
Locks for the loving