"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth

25 July 2019

Den

Gainsborough, The Wood Gatherers, 1787


It doesn’t have to be vast acres of rolling woodland.  It can be some little scrubby commons. Children don’t need a lot of big green nature. They just need something.  There is that sense that children have of loving a particular tree.  I think being outdoors gives them a sense of tranquility. The woods are a place where children can go to think. Children gravitate towards these spaces. When I was a child it was nothing more than a scrubby little overhang under a rhododendron bush but it was incredibly important to me. Cities everywhere become so over-tidied and controlled and subject to surveillance. Children want their own dens, which are like cocoons. Any child who has had a den remembers that place, the importance of it. It’s a place of reverie, a state which is so important to childhood.

Jay Griffiths

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