About The Playground
The Playground is exactly what you probably think it is. For me, the Childlike Author, my first playground was a big backyard with a giant oak tree right in the middle of it, a trampoline, and a big blue garage that obscured one from the prying eyes of the adults back at the house. Even better, the garage was large enough and empty enough to play roller hockey in, and it had an attic with a floor that would punish a careless step. Then my family moved to a different house, and my playground changed into dirt lots with huge ditches running across them. On a rainy day, the water would be channeled through these tiny ravines in a miniature flood and erode them further into deeper and wider canyons. Beyond the ditches was a small swathe of forest with a creek and lots of wildlife to hunt (unsuccessfully) or to observe with the undying fascination of youth.
But wherever I was, it didn’t matter. My play was barely affected. I would still dig holes in the soil, still lose my toys in the grass, still climb the trees or the fences, and still try to hide from the prying eyes of the adults back at the house. Perhaps the most important part of my play, the recurring theme, was simply that I created. Some may try to tell you that children’s play is destructive, but they only say that because they don’t remember what it was like to be a child. When I dug a hole, I wasn’t destroying the lawn, I was creating a fort, or a cave, or a bear trap, or a hiding place, or sometimes I just wanted to dig a hole to see what was underneath all that dirt and mud. The destruction children wreak is only done to create room for new ideas and new forms of play, and is termed destruction by the adults who are too absorbed in their stuff to notice how much they’ve forgotten about real life.
Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I’m still trying to destroy the old in order to create room for the new.
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