Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On Gardening & Childhood Play


I've decided to take up gardening. Before you get too excited, I have to admit I don't have any advice or tips yet, just a whole lot of hand blisters and muddy tennis shoes. It really all started as one of those fanciful notions in my head.

"What did you do today, Krisann?"

"Oh, you know... the usual... toiling in my garden."

It just sounds so... sophisticated.

Anyways, I've wanted to take up the sport? hobby? profession? for awhile, but I finally lit a fire under my tush & went out on Monday to spruce up the yard & claim a gardening space. 

I spent all of the first day pulling weeds. My neighbor came out and gave me an award for hardest worker of the day, which I felt I deserved. Five hours of yanking weeds, while simultaneously nursing and singing to a baby strapped to you, is no easy task.

 On Tuesday, I then moved my attention to the plot of land I chose for my garden, where I proceeded to yank grass roots and shovel gravel for two additional mornings. 

In all of this manual labor, I got to thinking. 

My grandparents took my brother & I to Syracuse, New York two summers in a row to spend time with our Aunt Betty and cousin Matthew, when I was nine and ten.

I remember Aunt Betty's house was decorated in apple emblems everywhere & I was sure I would decorate the same way when I had a house.  But mostly, I remember Aunt Betty's backyard.

Trees that looked like they haled from The Hundred Acre Woods, a two story, good-sized fort for serious play, chickens with fresh eggs every morning (so that's where eggs come from!), and grass in every nook and cranny.

In Aunt Betty's backyard I was a lieutenant soldier in the Union army. I fought Confederate soldiers to a bloody death. I spied on them. I gave orders to my inferiors (a.k.a. my brother and younger cousin). And I played all. day. long.

Play in a backyard like that is blessed. It anoints you with Vitamin D & blissful memories.

I will always cherish that backyard because it marks the last time in my childhood that I was privy to the magical world that is play.

 After that, I grew up to be eleven & eleven year old's don't really play. Eleven year old's "hang out."

Shoveling gravel & pulling weeds strangely felt like grown-up play this week. It gave me time to bask in the Arizona sun, burn calories that didn't involve assimilating manual labor, and unplug from the world of technology.

 I was sure Ezra would become impatient in the carrier, but he enjoyed being outdoors as much as me, often peeking out from his carrier with great interest.

This venture of gardening hasn't led to any planting and producing yet, but it has already reminded me of the world I've forgotten- a world outside social media. A world I didn't even realize I missed until this week.

A world where my thoughts are louder than my phone ringer. A world where I am not too busy to notice the hummingbird on a nearby branch. 

 I feel as if it's the closest I can get to play with an adult mind too preoccupied with grown-up thoughts to be privy to that sacred world of child's play.

Besides, a bee kept buzzing in and out of my newly raked soil, as if to say he gave his blessing for the garden he would soon pollinate, so I took it as a good sign. My gardening ventures will be blessed like my play was so long ago.

I wrote all this in hopes that you will be inspired to regard your child's play as sacred. Social media is overstimulating this generation, so that they beg to stay in-doors and watch a flashy, colored box for hours at a time, all the while sacrificing the precious time that is theirs to play.

I miss playing, but I don't remember fully how to enjoy it. Now, it seems tiring and monotonous.

But once, it was magical. I wish I remembered how to play.

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1 comment:

  1. Yay for gardening, i too am wanting to attempt so keep posting your experiences! Love it!