Monday, January 18, 2010

Street Gutter Sailboats

As a child, I had many opportunities for stretching my imagination and enjoying the great outdoors.  in the late 70's and early 80's, we didn't have a computer.  There was no Internet.  Even when these items did start appearing in the form of an early Commodore or BBS dial-ups, our family tended to be behind in the curve.  It wasn't that my parents were no interested, but they did not have the means to 'splurge' on frivolous toys.

Today, our children don't necessarily have that same stretch of the imagination we grew up with.  There world could be defined by the very four corners of their video avatar, or online game play.  Their boundaries are world wide as they send messages back and forth to people who could very well be around the world.  When a digital message can be transferred 10,000 miles away and reach its destination within 10 seconds - that is amazing.

I hearken back to a simpler time, though - which is a paradox in an of this very 'blog entry' - to when we were unplugged and we had to think and stretch our imagination to entertain ourselves.  I had such fun on the side yard at our home, playing with my GI JOE action figures, or army men.  Battling against evil behind the cabbage plant, or repelling from the ears of corn (we had a garden a few years there also).

But what I most remember and got the most fun out of was the simple act of sailing a leaf down our street gutters, racing to see who would make it first to the drain.  Careening around obstacles like rocks and twigs, our little boats sailed the swift rapids of our sewer system for the mere enjoyment of a child. 

There was a genuine joy and satisfaction out of the stretching of the imagination - It was a boat making its way down the rapids in front of our street - or it was James Bond on the slaloms of the Alps dodging gunfire.  The point is, there was no remote, no cathode ray tubes or keyboard; no electricity (except from the lightning of the storm) and it was pure fun.

Simplicity at its best.



God be with you,
B

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