Yesterday the photos I took on the Journée Sans Voitures included a little girl in yellow wellies, earnestly studying the stone paving setts of the Champs Elysées. She looked to be about three years old, an age when curiosity extends to the texture and pattern of everyday objects as much as to passing creepy crawlies, leaves floating in puddles and interesting holes in the road. Today my mind has kept drifting back to another endlessly curious three year old, my son Matthew, caught forever at the age of innocent curiosity.
Matthew was fascinated by reflections and shadows, by dandelion seeds and squabbling starlings, by concrete mixers, trains and soaring seagulls. Like any three year old whose grownups can allow them the luxury of time to explore, Matthew would spend long minutes following a beetle through a grass blade jungle, stalking a butterfly round the garden or watching leaves floating down the gutter.
Matthew died in a road accident before he reached his fourth birthday. Today would have been his thirty first, an empty anniversary but one that’s hard to put aside. So to focus a wandering mind I’ve searched my photo archive for things that Matthew (and in turn his little sisters) helped me to look at more closely. A gift from times past.
Click on any photo to view the gallery.