I took a taste of local strawberries, and they brought back the little wild strawberries of my childhood. And how a friend might come over, and I might tell her in whispers that I had found a secret place.
I wouldn’t say where exactly until we got close, and she would have to promise not to tell anyone. Then, checking around that no one was watching, I would lead her into a stand of pine trees and out into a clearing in the middle. And there we would sit down and pick wild strawberries, which are always sweeter than any in the supermarket.
Today I was asking my boss about his vacation with his wife’s family in France. He said his four-year-old had such freedom there to run outside and play with cousins. It reminded him of the freedom of his own childhood, and he thought his daughter was only just now experiencing the way childhood is supposed to be. Where he lives, in the city, his little girl could never just run out like that.
(If you are interested, here is one of many studies on the importance of nature and play in childhood.)