One summer day when I was a kid, I was playing in the garden with my mother. I can’t remember exactly how young I was, but I must have been in low single digits because I knew absolutely nothing and walked around in a semi-permanent state of wonder looking at stuff and trying to work out what it was for. Some would argue nothing much has changed in that respect.
Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day, and I suddenly became fascinated by the sun. I’d probably noticed it before, but only then did I begin to comprehend the fact that there was a massive ball of fire suspended in the sky. I remember lifting my face toward it and enjoying the feel of heat on my skin.
Then it stopped.
This is how I imagine the conversation going from that point on.
“Mam, what happened?”
“What do you mean?”
“The sun was shining on my face and now it isn’t.”
“Oh, it’s gone behind a cloud.”
“It’s a cloudy day. Don’t worry, it will be back soon.”
“I don’t get it.”
“What don’t you get?”
“Where did you say the sun’s gone?”
“It’s not gone anywhere. It’s still there. You just can’t see it.”
I can’t remember what I said at the time, but I remember how I felt and if I was to articulate those feelings in the vernacular employed by my current grown-up self, my reaction would have been something along the lines of…
“What the fuck, mam? You mean the sun is still there BUT I CAN’T SEE IT? How does that work? Is it magic? What kind of crazy ass world did you bring me into?”
Yeah, I was a difficult child.