Cotton Tree Childhood

11th March 2019

One of the best parts of my day is when I walk out of our house and down the red earth road to Marina School every week day morning, cutting across the playing field that separates the Junior School from the High School inhaling the cool morning air and feeling so glad to be alive!

Crossing the Junior School diagonally takes you to the playing field

The cotton trees in the neighbourhood have suddenly sprouted green pods on their branches which have now started exploding like tiny cushions splitting at the seams and spewing out white cotton wool after a pillow fight.

A cotton tree in the playing field reaches out its arms to the blue skies of The Gambia
Lumps of cotton that have burst out of their green pods and lie like fallen snow on the grass

And I am filled with nostalgia for a childhood spent running barefoot down the gravel lanes of suburbia in the sixties squealing with delight as the pods that grew on the cotton trees that lined Jambugasmulla Road suddenly spat out balls of soft white cotton onto the ground for us to pick up and stuff our dolls’ pillow cases with. And I’m struck by the realisation that I haven’t seen a cotton tree in Nugegoda for a very long time.

And I wonder: where have all the cotton trees gone?

One of my (pathetic) attempts to take a selfie as I cross the playing field one morning…..

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