Children see the world differently.
One, they’re very literal. I’ll never forget our daughter, at two, responding to a question about how people reacted to the new dress she wore to a special event.
“Did you get any comments on your dress?” we asked.
“No,” she said, looking, vaguely alarmed, down at the skirt. “There’s nothing on the dress.”
This is charming, yes. But there is also a wisdom to the straightforward, uncomplicated way that children approach their world and the people in it. They do not look for — nor expect — hidden motivations. They do not manipulate words in clever and cunning fashions so that they seem to be saying one thing but really meaning another. They do not value items for no other reason than that the marketplace announces them relevant or trendy or cool.
In many ways, they exhibit a logic that we adults have lost.
The artwork, Child of Eden, explores this sense of innocence and wonder. A little girl stands in the midst of a garden — and where better than a garden to personify innocence? She clutches a bunch of radishes as if they were the most beautiful bouquet.
Who is to say that they are not? Like flowers, this bounty of the garden is colorful and varied in shape and form. They’re fresh and new, a sign of the season’s growth and abundance.
In the little girl’s mind, a cluster of radishes would look fine in a vase, a worthy gift to be taken to her mother or father as a sign of her love.
To the adult mind, it’s an odd gift. But to the wise adult mind, the one that observes children and tries to recapture their curiosity, their openness, their willingness to accept things at face value, it’s a truly precious gift.
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