We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
It was another beautiful spring day. I was seated on the ground with legs crossed, leaning against a tree as I watched the various activities play out across the park. In the distance, a group of friends enjoyed a friendly game of slow pitch. To my right, the sounds of basketballs bounced off the concrete and children chased each other with shouts of excitement.
My girls checked in from time to time and I cherished the quiet moments where I could reflect, listen to the birds and contemplate life. After playing follow the leader for an hour, the rest is a nice break from the typical Saturday schedule. Sometimes it’s nice to just relax.
Just ahead new parents excitedly follow their child around the park, with their iPhones ready to snap photos to share with friends on their social media accounts. The bike rack is filled with a variety of bikes and scooters, as well as a bike trailer with an Edmonton Oilers flag blowing in the breeze. It’s playoff time after all.
As I sit here, I am thinking about all the time we have spent here in the past 8 years. In that time my kids have made lots of friends, learned many life skills and have had plenty of bumps and bruises. While they were busy growing, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of other community members and I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful, well balanced community.
I see the playground as a critical part of the community. It’s where we gather for a variety of reasons. It’s where we forge new relationships. It’s where we go when we want to connect. It’s where we go when we need to see a friendly face and it’s a place we walk away from knowing that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and our family.
What memories do you have about the playground? What is special about your community that you would like to share?