The haze is back and it has put a serious damper on our outdoor activities…
No, that is not a dirty window or “mist” creating that mountain air appearance in the photo above. On a good day, it should be blue sky and a city skyline. Today and the last couple of days (with each day getting worse), you could almost be forgiven for thinking that it’s winter with all our windows closed so we don’t smell the burnt air.
The person who has probably felt it the worst is Hercules – my nature-loving boy. He loves to roll in the grass, run his hands through the leaves in the bushes, stomp in puddles of water, and race like the wind through the parks and greenery. While Aristotle will grumble that a “park” is boring because there is no playground, Hercules will be happy to explore the pebbles on the ground, the flowers in the bushes, and the trail of ants marching across his path.
It’s times like these that I feel envious of parents like these…
Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like this in your backyard?
When I was a child, we would spend school holidays with my cousins who had a park opposite their house. At the park was the most perfect tree a child could ever have – just big enough to fit several children with one low branch so that even the smaller children (like me) could climb up on their own.
This picture reminds me of my childhood when I would walk home from school during Autumn kicking up the leaves (and possibly annoying the neighbours who had so labouriously swept them up) and playing “football” with acorns.
Times like these I cannot help but feel what our children are missing living in a concrete jungle with hazy air. Then there are the security issues (which we have touched on in a previous post) that prevent them from having the freedom to explore on their own. Where are the days when people could leave their doors unlocked and children could run over to the neighbours that live half a block away without the fear of being kidnapped or run over by a speeding motorist. As a parent, I feel sad for the loss of that. I keep wondering what we can do to recapture some of that experience in the world we live in now so that our children do not grow up oblivious to the beauty that nature has to offer.
To help counter this, I’ve been trying to take Hercules on regular visits to outdoor parks while Aristotle is in school. We do indoor play gyms as well when the weather is bad so Hercules gets the opportunity to burn up some of that boundless energy supply he carries in that little body of his so we both don’t go mad being couped up at home. We also take trips to places like the Bird Park although I have discovered how poorly designed it is for active toddlers that go tearing down the slippery paths that are bordered by steep drops. We also try to take advantage of our holiday visits to other countries to plan outdoor trips. It’s not as much as I would like, but I figure it’s still better than nothing…
If you live in a concrete jungle like we do, what do you to to help your children retain their links to nature?