I’d like to turn the clock back to those days when in my prime
I strode the hills and valleys, took for granted what was mine:
a strong and healthy body, legs that carried me for miles
on rough uneven farm tracks over rustic country stiles.
I’d tell myself, “Be thankful, savour every passing hour,
pause, listen to the skylark, let your eye seek out each flower.
Rejoice in nature’s bounty, treasure what you see and hear —
the time will come when much of this will simply disappear.
No more the cuckoo’s voice will ring from April into June
and many summers come and go without his haunting tune.”
The lavish use of pesticides in future days to come
will decimate the butterflies that dance now in the sun.
But will my young self listen or be taken by surprise?
The changes that mankind has wrought are hard to visualize.
Perhaps it’s best she doesn’t know what can she do or say?
It’s others who’ll decide the fate of all she sees that day.
My mother’s generation knew a world I can’t conceive.
Each one will see a new day dawn and often we’ll believe,
despite those new inventions that astound us and amaze,
our youthful days in memory become ‘the good old days’.
© Patricia Curtis, 2014
Photo by author.
Unlike you as a young child and later a young man I sadly took everything for granted. Yes of course I remember all those things you write about here but never appreciated them at the time, they were of course part of my being, my right or so I thought. Sadly I was wrong. I remember my own mother who remembered fondly days when as a child she would walk along to the end of her road and gaze out into the wilderness that was to become the estate where I grew up, then later I too gazed at the massive housing estate that had once been my playground as a child. It’s sadly called progress.