The History of The Wonderful World of Childhood

By Sarah White

I saw it this way.

Once upon a time, a man saw a trail, he followed it, and saw a woods. He thought he could use it, and he did! He cleared it, and planted flowers in it. Then he put a fence around it, with a gate. he put a trail in it, and put little houses, and a pond in it. Then the little troops of Brownies, Fairies, and Elves came! They all settled in the house, and explored their new town. They sailed boats in the pond, and had fun. Now they move. It can be anywhere–it can be in a hole or a tree or anywhere.

Love comes in boxes and there is no money.

Betsy* White, March 12, 1964

1964 Wonderful History of Childhood

This artifact came my way in a box of family papers some time ago. I have no memory of writing it. Given the spelling, I suspect that it was typed up from some scrap written by my childish hand. The typist was likely my aunt, who used to baby-sit me sometimes, and for whom I would draw maps of Fairyland that much resembled the world described here. I was 7, and had probably just joined my first Brownie Scout troop. 

It is again March,  the time when we start to dream of a green and pleasant fairyland outside. With fresh snow outside and single-digit temperatures in Wisconsin, it can be hard to remember it’s coming. But like the “wonderful world of childhood,” maybe it is there inside us, all along, just requiring vivid imagination. “It can be anywhere.”

Sarah White

*My full name is Sarah Elizabeth White, and I was called Betsy until I left for college and asserted my identity as Sarah.

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About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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2 Responses to The History of The Wonderful World of Childhood

  1. marjorie561 says:

    What a sweet discovery.

  2. AJF says:

    What a beautiful memory artifact, and a strong young, voice!

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