Thursday, June 16, 2011

Simple Suggestion #25/100... Rediscover your public park

Today isn't the best day for heading to the park since I'm off to work in the SSVP Clothing Room. Besides that, it's still cool, wet, and rainy. But even in the rain, a park can be appreciated, especially when I think about how many crowded cities there are in the world where a patch of green grass is hard to come by. A friend of mine and her family lived in Accra, Ghana for six months. When they came back, they did a presentation about their time away, and the kids, aged 12, 10, and 7 year-old twins, were asked what they would change for their friends in Accra. All four said they would make parks in which their friends could play. In Accra, play was in the dusty streets, and the school yards had no grass either, just dirt.

We're so fortunate in our public park. It has many trees, lots of grass, a few hills (that entertain tobogganners in the winter and kids who like to roll in the summer), play equipment and designated spaces for softball, basketball and soccer. This summer, a little spray park will be added, near benches and picnic tables that are already there for seniors and families to enjoy. It's a community meeting place, as it also has hockey and skating rinks in the winter, our community league hall, and a before- and after-school care centre. As I said, we're so fortunate!

But even if a park is just a green space, it's a thing to be marveled at. It houses more life than meets the eye, its plants produce oxygen, and it helps human beings to destress even just by looking at it or walking through it. People smile at each other in parks, exchange pleasantries, or get into longer conversations. Parks bring out the best in us, because they give our souls a bit of breathing space.

A public park is a treasure that too many of us take for granted. Why not get out and appreciate yours on the next sunny day? Maybe I'll go later with my umbrella...

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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