Grounds for play

I think I’m in line with what we’ve known all along about child development, and science is continuing to back the idea up with research. And the latest? Here’s an article with new research showing yet another advantage to outdoor activities: The Sun Is the Best Optometrist . The natural world is a healthy place to be, and our culture needs to head back outside.

In his book, Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv shows the critical need for children to spend time outside. It’s a classic, if you haven’t read it you should consider picking up a copy. So that covers the why to go outside. But how?  What about children growing up in urban areas?

Access to nature is important in designing areas for children to play and for families deciding where to live. Cities across America are developing an awareness of the need for parks, and there is a program in the works to help pediatricians encourage families to spend time outside by matching them up with local parks that will meet their needs. According to this Washington Post article, the National Park Service is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics on this initiative.

Another sign of the growing enlightenment: the state of Maryland is now requiring high school students to develop environmental literacy. A good idea, in theory, but I’m curious to see how it will be implemented. Textbooks? Tests? Classroom time? (Maybe we should start at birth?)

It’s a wonderful thing, environmental literacy. But I think that in order to preserve this planet, we need to get to know it on a more personal level.

If you ignore it long enough, it’ll go away

Not true, admittedly, in the case of my sprained ankle that never quite healed up right, or most other medical issues, so, I’ll leave you to decide on proper action in those cases.

Also, not true when it comes to a kid’s messy bedroom. Not only will the mess not clean itself up, but it will multiply. And start to smell bad, depending on whether food and wet clothing is involved.

Blogs. Blogs will not go away. I’ll go through periods of having other priorities, and yes, this blog gets ignored. But it is still here! Hurrah! (And to prevent that busy streak blankness, I’m writing ahead and scheduling. Look for posts on Thursdays.)


click on photo for source

On the other hand, I have discovered that the mess on my desk can be ignored for quite a while. My theory is that the active papers will rise to the surface, so the bottom layer that forms the cushion can safely be ignored. If I need it, I can dig for it, right? When my desk gets this bad (the photo is not my desk, mine is sparkly clean at the moment so it wouldn’t do for this post), and I finally get around to sorting out the papers, I find that I can chuck a pretty good percentage of that bottom layer straight into the recycling bin. Outdated papers from the schools, things I meant to research, notes about events that have passed, recipes that obviously didn’t excite me enough, poof!

Seems to me that it is a sign that I’m saving papers that could go straight in the bin, or get filed. Maybe I should be more picky about what lands on my desk. It’s prime real estate.

Do you have a strategy for keeping your desk tidy?

Exit, stage left

I’ve got a new strategy. Starting tomorrow I’m getting out of the house to write. In my visions of this new writing scene, I smell the books in the stacks at the university library. I hear keyboards, maybe a whisper here and there.

exeter library carrel
Exeter Library Carrel courtesy of Ana Maria Leon. click on photo for details.

What I don’t hear, in this dream of mine, is the sound of my neighbor’s noisy battle against nature (maybe someone should tell him that he’s not winning?), the phone ringing, the dryer buzzing, the ding of friends wanting to chat.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ve got a few assignments I’m working on right now, would love to clear the deadlines comfortably.