Updated: Dec 6, 2021
The large park right by where I live is where I’ve been getting a lot of my inspiration lately. It is a familiar place. While growing up, I thought of it as my enormous backyard. However, when I first returned to the park after being away for many years, I was surprised to see the change. I noticed these protective measures being taken in various forms. Cautionary signs were everywhere warning users of the hidden dangers of the park. One stated not to play on the apparatus when wet and slippery. Another said to watch out for a long branch that was sticking out. Really? Is this necessary?! has always been my reaction. My favorite so far is the thick synthetic mats that are placed under the swings. These are the most provocative to me. I suppose it’s safer to land on this material than on natural soil. But it’s entirely in the way of having fun. As far as playing on the swing goes, I remember that it was the best after it rained and when water puddles formed under them. You had to show skill; otherwise… I understand it’s done all in the name of safety, but it certainly changes the way we approach the world. The other day at the park, I came across something unexpected after the last bit of rain. I discovered water puddles in some weathered mats. How exciting it was to see. What do we do now?