Yesterday I posted about suddenly realising I could still feel what it was like to experience the world as when I was a child. And today I read the next bit in Michael Mayne's This Sunrise of Wonder and began to think again about this business of how we see the world around us. Is it simply the realisation that our time here is so limited - and getting shorter by the day? Is it also the fact that as we shed responsibilities - job, mortgage, family, aged parents - we are allowed to become like children again? (And if so, it's the best argument yet for not raising the retirement age).
Anyway, this is what John Updike has to say on the matter: (and yes, Mayne is quoting Updike; I'm not quite at the bonkers stage yet) :
Like my late Unitarian father-in-law am I now in my amazed, insistent appreciation of the physical world, of this planet with its scenery and weather - that pathetic discovery which the old make that every day and season has its beauty and its uses, that even a walk to the mailbox is a precious experience, that all species of tree and weed have their signature and style and that the sky is a pageant of clouds. Ageing calls us ... into the lowly simplicities that we thought we had outgrown as children ... The act of seeing is itself glorious.
Today, the sky is a perfect blue. The sea is darker, and in the open water there are small, north-wind-driven waves. But under the wall that faces the sun, there are daffodils in bloom.