I remember a time when life was alive with magical mysteries and mirth in our eyes; when clouds were fluffy and brilliant white with planes soaring high and then out of sight. Innocence of mind and a happier soul as we played out with mates, we would fight and cajole, running around with abandon, so free, not a care in the world, just cries of glee. Hide ‘n’ seek and footy as well, then playing on rope swings down in the dell. Flying a kite that you just made fro sticks, a bag and a tail, watch it dance and do tricks. Crawling through grass trying not to be seen, with toy gun in hand and knees now so green, attacking the fort, built with cupboard and box, with a rat-a-tat-tat and mud on your socks. Building a den in the back yard with friends, damp wood and carpet with worn tatty ends, an old piece of plastic was a window outside, to watch for the enemy, "Be quiet and hide!" Climbing way up to the top of tall trees and holding on tight as it swayed in the breeze, then falling back down with a thud and a shout and a hole in your coat, with stuffing hanging out. Playing on the swings, roundabout and slide, screaming and shouting with eyes open wide, abandoning all to the whim of the day, “Where shall we go and what shall we play?” “What time it mister? I'm late, gotta run!” “My tea will be cold; get a clout on the bum!” Running through puddles, down streets and dirt paths, right up to the door we’re still having a laugh. Quick tea and telly and then off to bed, except on Sundays; “Get a bath, wash your head!” A peaceful sleep, then a stretch; wide awake, the sun is shining, think I'll go out and play. Hold onto each moment of fun in your heart, your childhood memories, though now far apart. Remember those times in your darkest hours, the sights, the sounds and the beautiful flowers. The child that resides in the heart of my soul is a child born in freedom; in love and behold, a child of adventure, of joy and love, we live here together like hand in glove. Never relinquish the innocence inside, just open your heart and open it wide! On dark, dreary days when your life is a trial, just remember that child who can still make you... * Written by Darren Scanlon, September 2013. Revised on 10th August 2015. Artwork by Angie Caira. ©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.