The Grandest View I Dreamed to See…

8th May 1974

Hey, you caught me time travelling.  Mind you, some people would call it reminiscing, but it seems to me that a memory is a moment in time kept, that you can revisit whenever you wish.  And, sometimes, when you go back into a memory, you remember other things that you had forgotten and the only way to get to the new memory, is from the old memory.  That sounds like time travel to me!

I am six years old and just two days into my first Norfolk Broads holiday.  Our boat, ‘Bermuda’ carries us along  rivers and broads, through meadows and woodland and I have already decided that I never ever want to leave. A few miles away, my house is being built, but I will not know that for another 34 years.

I am focused on a white bird that I have been watching for a long time. The flat open landscape gives an unobstructed view as the bird flies effortlessly to and fro over the meadows.. I yearn to be that bird and see the rivers and fields from up high, swooping down low and fast and then soaring up in the warm air.  It must be the grandest view!  Oh bird, if I sink under the water, I hope I am reborn as you. So wild and free…

18th July 2016

Ah, I couldn’t stay – even if I wanted to… the memory was explored and time threw me back. Yet 42 years since my first visit, none of the wonder has gone, and technology has now given me the chance to finally appreciate the beauty of the Norfolk Broads as if I were a bird…  it’s not quite the same as being a bird, but as I get older, I’m not quite so ready to sink under the water and hope to be reborn as a bird, and I realise they are not quite as lucky as I believed either.  Life is hard for birds, but somehow I still believe their hearts do sing as the air breathes life into their wings.

So, my six year old self, who I just returned from visiting, sends a big ‘thank you‘ through time – to science – for creating my mechanical bird which is taking to the air, to share with me it’s view of the waterland beneath.



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