I went out this evening, late-ish sunset, the sky still glowing on a balmy night, the fireflies dancing above the lawns, and saw no children on a block where I know there are many. It’s finally sinking in, the level to which children today have been divorced from the natural world between structured play and electronic play. Nature Deficit Disorder, indeed.
I began thinking of the food forest that I’m starting in my back yard, and how I always had the feeling, when this was the neighborhood grandmother’s house, that there were fairies at the bottom of the garden, in among the tigerlilies, lilies of the valley, roses and bamboo.
I learned a sense of wonder in the garden of this house in those days as I clambered up the rough stone steps into the mysterious path that led through the bamboo (for the BG&E crews’ convenience, but I didn’t know that then). And I learned a lifelong lesson in arbitrary distinctions from hearing a neighbor’s exchange with Aunt Ruth’s crusty brother Walter, the family gardener: Is this a weed? – Do you want it?
What are this neighborhood’s children learning today from their electronic games, and how will those lessons guide them as adults?
And the question this hermit is studiously avoiding asking: what difference can I make with my dream of a permaculture demonstration site on this property? — especially as I can number the pollinators I have seen this summer on the fingers of one hand, and I am Q-tip pollinating the flowers on my veggies?