When I was a boy I spent my summers at my grandparents’ house out in the country.
Those times were when I found my living conditions to be most suited to my temperament. I have always been that solitary figure wandering off into the distance with no seeming purpose or direction. The farm suited me well for it was the only man-made structure within sight but for the worn road that lied some ways in front of the property and the small wooden bridge beyond it, which was the means for passing over a small stream that wound its way through the plain and down into the forest. There were smatterings of trees here and there on the plain but it was flat otherwise, though it sloped down in a gentle way until it reached the woods.
I spent my days back then wandering along the side of the stream, following the flow of the water to see where it would take me. I set out each day with the naive and impossible mission of finding the place where the stream ended. I knew little about geology then and didn’t have any notions whatsoever about what I would find at the terminal point. It didn’t matter very much because there was always some distraction along the way that prevented me from going very far. Here or there among the pebbles in the stream would be a shinier or smoother one, or one coloured in a peculiar way, essentially demanding that they be made into a collection. I had no choice but to oblige them.