Paintings stick to the walls with blu-tac, brushed strokes by a little girl 's hand. The imagination of a child portrays a shore with orange sand, deep blue sea and a pale blue sky. A large yellow sun shines in the corner, pointing its rays on the white horses that gather in salty water. Another picture paints a message of love; a three letter word, "mum", sitting underneath a big green heart. Precious and sentimental, given to a mummy by the daughter who loves life, embraces everything around her, drowns herself in thought. Personal items; a reminder of a child I once knew.
Where has that little girl gone? The little hands that drew and painted and held my hand for protection. Where did the cuteness and the giggling and the innocence go? When did I wake up and notice the little person no longer existed? When did the will to paint and the need to draw vanish? How old was the child when she ceased being little? When did I suddenly assume it was okay not to ask for a hug before school, or help with socks and shoes, or insist she wear gloves? When did she suddenly grow up?
The memories remain on my wall. They live on in my heart. I can see the little girl when I look at old photographs. Sometimes, I even see the little girl reappear, when she's feeling poorly and needs mummy. I want to reach out and hold her hand; rock her in my arms; snuggle against her warm, clinging body and nuzzle my head against her soft hair, smell the shampoo and the soap and the remnants of paint. Where did those years go?
She still needs me, but perhaps I need her more now. Perhaps my need for her is more nostalgia than necessity, or maybe...maybe...I want those childhood years to stay etched in my mind, afraid if I let go I will forget. Time goes so quickly. Hold onto it with both hands and paint a picture that your mind will cherish forever.