Unless we become like a child

March 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

It seems I don't tire of paying repeated visits to the same place.  At least not so far.  Now this may be mostly to do with my personality.  But I think there is more to it than that. 

Just in late autumn last year I discovered 'the rock' at Ballycastle, on the northern shores of Ireland. It has been there long before the first human eyes fell on it, of course, but for me it was a discovery. And I have been back time and time again since. 

A geologist could tell me what it is made of - perhaps one will in response to this post(?). But could the geologist tell me what it is? That is another question entirely.  For what a thing is made of is not the same as what it is.  

To see truly is to learn to see beyond the thing itself.  No doubt the rock has a fascinating geological story.  But as I imagine generations of families, of lone walkers, of romantic couples, of artists spending hours in its company they see instinctively what I am trying to see.  A meeting point.  A turning point in a walk or in a thought.  A place to picnic or to dream.  A place near which to sit and watch the endless ebb and flow of the tides.  A silent witness to changing fashions. A rock in a storm.  A solid place in the shifting sands of life. 

Unless we become like a child...  Not childish, but childlike. To see it fresh and large, bold and exciting.  And above all mysterious.  Is it an alien monster?  A ship? A castle? An alien space station?  A gigantic unblinking toad?  Did pirates or smugglers land here once? Or just perhaps there is a hidden cave which is a doorway to another world?  

It is all of these and more.  For the rock is a something beyond itself. 


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