From the time I was about two or three years old until I was nine I lived in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada – on an Air Force base. This was the best place in the world for a child to grow up as far as I am concerned. Maybe it was just because we lived only three doors down from the school grounds entrance and our backyard backed onto the school property or maybe it was because I had lots of friends around me who also loved to be outside. Being an Air Force base, at this time, it was a very safe place to live. Whatever the reason, I absolutely LOVED it!
I spent most of my life outside in those days and try to do the same now... even in winter I try to find as much to do outside as possible. There’s a book by Richard Louv called “Last child in the woods” where he talks about his belief in the issue of nature-deficit disorder. I haven’t read it yet but it’s high on my list of books to read next!
It was almost ritualistic the way that it went up, with the five of us out there... Willow, my husband and our two dogs. I tried to help my husband, grouping like things together, keeping Willow and the dogs out of the small pieces and letting the dogs chew up the big cardboard box that it came in. There was even a bon fire to burn the box when we were done... another one of my favourite things to do! I’m hoping that this ritual will be a sign of all the amazing fun to take place in our backyard for years to come.
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