As children we were fearless; careering downhill on skateboards,oblivious to traffic; intent on speed. On wild windy days we would unfasten our coats and, holding the billowing sides above our heads, harness the wind to drive us along on our roller-skates; twisting and turning our arms to steer the way.
During the seemingly endless days of Summer, we spent many an afternoon in the garden building walls from boxes.....before crashing into them on our bikes at top speed, with all the panache of the most daring stuntmen; scattering cardboard, and sometimes ourselves, to the four corners of the lawn.
Weekends were spent scrambling up to the tallest tree branches in the park or swinging on ancient frayed rope swings over cool forest streams. We would dare each other to climb higher, swing harder, vying to be the best, the bravest. For us, adventure was king, and setbacks part and parcel of pushing our limits. Cut knees, broken bones, bruised skin and bruised egos were learning curves; and there were plenty of those to be had.
Looking back, I often wonder at what point we became cautious, and lost that carefree attitude to danger. Is the loss of fearlessness a prerequisite of 'growing up' or is it that life simply changes, regiments, loses that instantaneous joy of just being?
I found my rollerblades in the back of the cupboard today, and am tempted to grasp the nettle and speed down the hill opposite our house ..... Just to see if I can throw caution to the winds and be fearless once more.