Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Growing Up With Nature Part I

When I was a child I lived in a neighborhood with a brook!  Every house that backed up on that brook had a little bridge that crossed over the brook and into the woods.  We spent our summers launching stick boats and racing from bridge to bridge to watch them magically appear from under the overhangs.  On really hot days, we just sat down in the cool, clean water and buried our toes in the sandy bottom.

Memories of a childhood that seamlessly interwove the natural environment into  everyday lives are sadly, not that common today.  

Our children growing up in suburbia tend to spend their leisure or play time inside of houses, cars and malls, attached by their fingertips to electronic devices.  The feel of plastic keys for them is normal.  They drown out the sound of rustling leaves in the wind and birds singing with the ear buds attached to ipods.  If they play sports, more and more of them are playing on artificial turf surfaces - toxic rubber pellets packed into green dyed and lead filled plastic grass carpets. 

So what is this doing to our children?  Some call the phenomenon "Nature Deficit Disorder".  I say it is robbing our children of their birthright…of the essence of being alive on this planet.

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