In the moment with COVID-19

Every school morning, my brother John and I would escape the cocoon of 4 Ivy St, Burwood and set off towards Ely Road. 

I remember vividly, the carefree childhood saunter where each foot was thrown forward in the approximate direction of travel while the schoolbag was swung in exploratory arcs that sometimes surprised others or oneself.  

Every morning was the start of an adventure and any option for meandering was to be taken. There was usually at least one house under construction somewhere along our street as suburbia smothered the Burwood fields.  Here were places to explore and things to pull, wield or throw. 

 At 6, I did not worry about destinations or deadlines.  Responsibility was not in my vocabulary. I was “in the moment” and scanned the world with the eyes of a tourist.  Somedays, there would be puddles to throw rocks into. On freezing mornings, panes of ice could be smashed. I was constantly scanning for objects to squash, scuff, pick up or throw. The freedom from adults was intoxicating. 

John knew that his age and older brotherhood meant that he would wear the blame for lateness or injury, and would guide me from these distractions with a yell or a yank. These adventures should wait for the weekend.  As we progressed, we converged with the many children of the young neighbourhood also trekking to Bennetswood State School - and the comfort of a different cocoon.

As an adult during COVID-19 pandemic, the severe limitations on my freedom create opportunities to wander down paths last traversed as a schoolboy with a similar disregard for time and purpose.  I can fleetingly taste the moments from childhood.

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