YOUNGNESS IN THE DARK AGES

I was telling a confidante about my childhood some years ago, and she said: ‘It sounds like you grew up in a different time, more like the Dickens era than the 1950s.’ I thought about that and decided it was more like the Dark Ages.
There is so much we don’t know as children; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There is so much we can’t know as children: but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There is a surrounding of unfathomable adulthood; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There are limitations and restrictions that make no sense; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There was little choice, often no choice; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were punishments and anger; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were brutalities and affections; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were swings and moods and changes in permissions; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There was fun and games that brought sudden wrath; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There was exploration and discovery; that definitely wasn’t part of the Dark Ages.
There was hard work and tiredness; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were hours of kneeling, hands clasped, head bowed in praying for forgiveness; but that wasn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There was the death of old people and loved pets; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There was bushfire and flood; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were bats and echoes and dripping of water in the abandoned gold mines; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were terrifying stories of ghosts and worse by older children; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There were threats and bullying from older children; but that isn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
There was penury and hand-me-downs and making ends meet; but that wasn’t why it was the Dark Ages.
It wasn’t even the Dark Ages because the best books, the ones with all the interesting information about the world and the stars above, were forbidden.
It was the Dark Ages because those books were on a shelf I couldn’t reach!

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