The approaching summer always inspires in me the nostalgia of my spring. The days when me and my oldest friend would wander across the fields of his father’s farm. Meandering around cow dung, past brambles and frog spawn in search of nothing and yet with the unfaltering purpose which comes with youth. We were in one sense adventurers & explorers and in another lords or all that we surveyed. The countryside was ours for the taking. We cared little for the path that we undertook or for the world that lay before us. And if the world failed to satisfy that thirst for exploration then our ample imaginations would naturally fill the void.
I undertook a similar quest recently with similar goals – or indeed the lack there of – and found a sad realisation in their wake. Instead of being the blind traveller in nature’s unchartered wilderness, I found myself dependant on modern vices.
I was wandering with a new friend of mine across the forests of Northern Tenerife dependant on my iPhone for GPS guidance back to the car that I had parked on the forest’s outskirts. I couldn’t allow myself the freedom that had inspired the glorious adventures of my youth. The doubts of experience and the maturity of adulthood quenched the fires of quest that youth fuels. It was a sad realisation that those days of unfettered freedom had been tamed due to technological advancement and the educated mind.
Forlornly – at risk of melodrama – I contemplated that even a removal of the apple-based crutch would do little to dispel the inner knowledge that uncontrolled and unregulated adventure can pose (in itself) threats to my adult sensibilities. Ironically, as I get older the natural world becomes more of a fenced playground then it ever was in my youth.