death by paper cut

{July 8, 2013}   Taxonomy

The thing about childhood memories is how close to the ground everything seemed to be.

I think as a child I hardly looked up at the faces of taller people, at the sky or at the trees. Thus I remembered being fascinated at the saga seeds scattered on the ground heading towards my day care centre. Some were crushed by the passing cars, some were clustered near the drain – a saga seedpod was always a delightful treasure trove. They are very hard, bright red and unlike many seeds that I knew of then, are not spherical. They are compressed spinning tops.

I remembered that my father, when walking me to the day care centre, would indulge me a few minutes to gather the saga seeds. Sometimes, he would even try to shake the trunk of the saga tree to unhinge the seedpods from the branches high above.

I used to store my collection of saga seeds in medicine bottles formally dispensed with tablets and capsules. Not once did I try to think of a reason for collecting them. I just knew that the saga seeds were not all that common, and by hoarding them, I felt somehow wealthier.

These days, I still try to make time to walk in parks and stroll amongst green giants. I do not pick up saga seeds or any type of seed anymore because I am now more aware that I should not interfere with the ecological cycle of nature. I have noticed that I still have the habit of looking downwards by default, so once in a while, I will remind myself to lookup towards the sky, listen out for the cicadas, hear the twigs displaced by my footfall and smell the crisp clear air.

It is now my five year old nephew’s turn to seek his fortune. His treasure for the time being are bottle caps. Helped along with everyone else in the family to expand his collection, he has now amassed a box full of them. It is not only the numbers that he wants to increase, he also enjoys identifying and expanding his knowledge of the names of the beverages. In his own way, he has made sense of his pile of bottle caps by classifying them according to rarity and colour. Now green has taken a new shade – Heineken Green he calls it.

David and his Bottle Caps 2


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