In the book (and movie) The Secret Garden, Dickon is the essence of the Moor. His eyes look like "pieces of moorland sky," and he smells like "heather and grass and leaves..." and sits beneath trees with his
wooden pipe, charming woodland creatures. Wild Child.
Wild Child lives here between nine thousand acres of inland delta, an estuary, the river and the sea. Folks much prefer his wanderings with bamboo flute than with trumpet. Understandable. Smiles follow as he heads for water with fishing pole in one hand, breakfast in his other. Neighbors hand him cookies for his morning snack. One proffers a jar for catching minnows for her pet turtle's lunch. After winked mutterings of turtle soup, he and his math book and leather-bound sketch book, disappear. I'll never see fish, but oh, the salamanders...
Wild Child designed and planted my garden. His arrows lopped off the tops of new blossoms and his bunnies ate the greens. Two nights a week he worked at the rock gym. His skis and snowboard lived in the kitchen. Eventually he rode a new red bike to college and returned with.....salamanders. Go figure.
Freedom to be. Perhaps that's the secret.
Shhh. Don't tell. They'll think I'm totally crazy. But, perhaps I'm not. My ASD, ADHD, anxiety ridden, EFD son pretty much played his way to college by his mid-teens. He played with fishing poles and skis and kayaks and metal detectors and homegrown herbs in a frying pan...and with metaphorical thinkings, and lyrical tinkerings and a cultivated tongue dedicated to argumentation. Tired, I am.
I stopped reading the books about how the world thought he should be. After all, even he began reading them and laughing along with me. I ignored all the voices telling me that he should or should not do this or that by age whatever or even how this professional or that predicted he'd be. I turned a deaf ear to threats that I'd be forced to put him in school and the other deaf ear to those who pretended that I damaged him beyond belief or worse...they pretended that we didn't really exist or that I asked for this.
(Oh, yeah...every woman just dreams of living life like this? I don't think so!! Really --- worms? fishing poles? metal detectors? )
I learned a lot about perception. I learned that I like mine. I learned to appreciate and cultivate intuition....mine and his. He'll need it to catch the next creature or two.
Freedom to be.