Letters to the Editor

A trip back to the magic of childhood

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Dear Editor,

'Mindfulness' (Nicholas Van Dam, 20 August 2022) and 'magical thinking' (Dimitris Xygalatas, 10 November 2022) converged in my retreat to the balm of childhood. 

My first flight in a half-century to Borneo’s Sarawak flew over imperilled rainforests burnt brown to the farthest smoky horizon and thirsty rivers pastelled a sickly yellow by eroded soil.

I willed my upset adult mind’s return to the embrace of the kid-cocoon. As a child, I mapped out my travel bucket list onto a map using a piece of string.

This time, I dreamt my magical silkworm-form spinning thread to track ‘South-East Asia unlimited’ onto a globe. It matures into the butterfly that breaks free from the COVID lockdown cocoon, looping eastward across the vast Indonesian archipelago  from Northern Sumatra to Lombok across Java. Circumnavigating Borneo, the butterfly city-hops northward from Singapore to Bangkok via Kuala Lumpur, then hugs Vietnam’s East Sea coastline between Hanoi and Saigon in a southerly hurry before flying home to south-eastern Australia. 

I now remember the carefree child rushing to unoccupied plane windows to track meandering journeys made by waterways etching the vast green expanse of fertile rainforest below. A child’s mindfulness is shielded from worldwide collapse. Lost pets and food foraging in the wild we...


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