I've listened to Elbow’s ‘lippy kids’ a lot lately and it fills me with a sense of melancholy. If you've not heard it (and you should - click the link below) it’s about a man reflecting on the carefree days of youth as he watches the kids hanging around a street corner.
“Do they know those days are golden?” he asks.
And they don't do they? We don't realise how quick the time flies, how suddenly things can change. How precious and sacred the naive innocence of youth.
“Build a rocket boys” he urges.
Make the most of now. Grab life with both hands. For in this moment, in this moment of innocence you can achieve anything. The whole world is yours for the taking.
I am sat in town watching a group of teenagers playing table tennis on one of the many tables that have sprung up around the city, inviting passersby to stop and play for free as part of a nationwide ‘Ping’ event. I am filled with that familiar sense of melancholy. I want to shake them and tell them to make the most of these precious care free days; to bank these memories, to remember these feelings, to appreciate how simple and uncomplicated life can be. I feel like I have been robbed of my innocence somehow, that my eyes have been opened to a cruel world that I never realised existed before. I feel real pain at that loss. I long for the days when things were simple, when my child growing up and going to school were just things I took for granted. I wish my eyes hadn't been opened and my heart scalded by the fear that one day I will lose him.
And yet conversely, these days are golden.
I have hours and hours of video footage and photos and banked memories to remind me of these precious precious days. It remains unspoken but there in the back of my mind is the thought that one day, these memories, these photos will be all I have. No doubt then, I will want to come back in time and shake myself, remind myself how precious these days are.
Do you know these days are golden?