Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gen X Reclaims the Outdoors (Week 10 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

Happy conversation and the sound of live music in the background.  The sizzle and scent of     barbecued bratwurst.  The gentle sunlight on the red skin of the tomatoes.  Flower bouquets in every hue of pink and purple sharing their scent to the the passers by.  Local artists displaying their work, their genius, to the world on canvas.  Small homemade soaps in soft colors wrapped in brown paper.  Small golden raspberries hiding shyly behind colossal black marionberries.  All this beauty from the rain, the sun, the soil, our hands.   

In the 1970s, it was no big deal for kids to play outside all day without checking in with parents, to take trains to places across the city, or to spend a lazy afternoon picking flowers in meadows.  Then, during the 80s, most kids had to leave their sandlot for their basement rec rooms to play video games because the world seemingly had turned into a scarier place. In the very early 80s, as a small child, I remember running around our neighborhood  with my next-door neighbor.  This pack of teenage boys would fly by on their skateboards making their usual neighborhood rounds as we'd head to the park.  Then, one day, we were told not to go to the park on our own anymore.  A lot of the memories of older Gen Xers are of nature, of breathing fresh air, and of running back and forth to any place they felt like.  Many of the memories of younger Xers are of just basically being inside.   

As patterns are set and traditions are formed for my daughter's childhood, I am trying to reclaim the outdoors as a part of weekend and even everyday life.  This is why the last two entries were about park festivals and outdoor picnics.  We also want her to experience local Farmer's Markets -- to remember the pink and purple flowers of  her childhood summers along with the yellow squash and orange pumpkins of her childhood autumns.  

If you wished you could have had a little more time outdoors during your Gen X childhood, it's not too late to make up for the time now....

(c) 2011 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved

No comments: