I picked a conker up off the ground today, for, to the best of my estimations, the first time in three years.
Three years! Children learn how to walk and talk in that time, and I’m here, frittering it away on things I don’t like and NOT PICKING UP CONKERS.
Yes, everyone has responsibilities. Everyone has things they can’t do, or things they have to do, or things they would or should do if only they had the time; but today was the first time in three years that I picked up a conker, and that suggests something in the balance is very seriously wrong.
It was a natural movement, a thoughtless process- a bubble of warm happiness welled up inside me at the motion, before it shattered with the realisation that this had in fact become unnatural to me, that picking things up just for the hell of it had become an entirely foreign concept.
For as long as I can remember I have picked up conkers, amassing a small autumnal horde of shiny brown orbs like so many other “country” children. I know how to choose a good conker. For what purpose? What can a conker actually be good for? How is it beneficial to yourself or society? Who cares, it’s just a damn good conker.
A DAMN GOOD CONKER REQUIREMENTS;
“about 3-4 cm across. near spherical, with the signature chalky beige patch amidst a sea of brown- must be warm toned, chestnut shades. a smooth surface, feeling almost lacquered to the touch. “
I know all of this. I have all of this knowledge and accumulated experience, useless as it may be, all these happy, fuzzy memories; and yet some part of me forgot about picking up conkers. Maybe I stopped caring. Maybe I moved on or maybe I simply ran out of time; either way, I feel almost as if I have forgotten to be happy in these simple moments, whilst picking up conkers.
Is this what the end of innocence feels like?