After supper tonight I took a short ride to the beach to watch the sunset. It was absolutely beautiful. I was on the road to East Chop Lighthouse and decided to stop at the little beach. As I sat there watching the sun sink toward the horizon I could smell lilacs. I was in heaven. I started thinking about when I was a child, about 10 years old, looking forward to summer vacation and the endless possibilities that it held for me.
When I was 10 I lived in Cumberland RI, a small town without a Main Street and full of cow pastures. I looked forward to summer like every child does. I looked forward to getting up in the morning, having breakfast and then going outside to face the day. I spent the whole day outdoors. My best friend, Nancy, and I loved to explore. We loved walking through cow fields, walking through the woods and just having a great day.
Sometimes we played with our Barbie dolls on a blanket on the side lawn of Nancy’s house. We truly enjoyed our summer vacation. We hated rainy days being stuck indoors, though we managed to have a good time playing board games like Monopoly.
Finally I grew up and had children of my own who also spent the majority of their time outdoors. They would wake up, go outdoors, come home for lunch, go back outside, come home for supper and go outside again until they saw the setting sun and realized they had to come home.
What bothers me is knowing that so many children nowadays come home from school and sit in front of the TV and either watch mindless television shows or play video games. These kids are missing so much. I realize that many kids live in cities where there are no cow pastures. I am talking about the kids who could be outdoors but don’t bother.
How can our children, the future caretakers of Earth, learn how to value our planet if they never spend time outdoors discovering the beauty that is available to every one of us?
Please let your children play outdoors if it is possible. Teach them about nature.