I BELIEVE THAT CHILDREN SHOULD PLAY IN MEADOWS. I believe that they should roll down hills and climb trees and run and run in the sunshine and air. I believe children should grow up with clean minds and dirty bodies. In the meadow they touch Nature. They see reality. I believe children should meet bugs, catch fireflies, and lie on their backs seeing pictures in clouds. Here, they can learn they are both great and small. They grow sturdy bodies, and strong minds. Here they can learn adaptability when the rains come; humility, under the stars; kindness to the creatures of the meadow; harmony, from the flowers, and the joy of freedom. Here, I believe, they are closer to God, the creator of the microscopic and the infinite. I believe the meadow helps the parent who breathes the air and plays with the child. I believe in the joy of shared discovery. This brings harmony to the family and peace to the home. When a child blows the dandelion seeds and sees them travel far on the wings of the wind to far and unlikely places, he sees also how wisdom spreads. When he puts the buttercup under a chin to see its reflection, he sees how we reflect our light in the world.
I believe children should play – unstructured, random, play. Spinning, running, jumping, falling down, rolling, leaping, laughing – with arms out and head back. I believe they need large balls and engaged parents.
I believe the meadow makes children tired, so that after a warm bath they can go to bed early and sleep, arising fit for the new day. The evening then gives the parents quiet time alone, when they can think and grow.
Where there is a meadow, there is no concrete, no machinery, no noise and hurly burly. One is in the center of space, not enclosed in a glass and plastic box. Here is rest for the soul. I am over 60, and when I think of rolling down hills and catching fireflies over 50 years ago, I always smile. I believe children should run in meadows – creating fond memories which bring joy in the hard times, and an ultimate peace.
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