Hanging out at the park

“The park seemed cleaner than some in the area but a Safeway shopping cart (they seem to be mandatory in all of our parks and playground) marred the scenery.”

October 13, 2014
When my son was very small and while we were living on Simcoe Ave. in downtown Winnipeg, we often spent a large chuck of each day in one of the numerous playgrounds or parks at the end of one block or another in our West Central area of the city.

I would push Luke on the swing in a playground or park almost everyday for, I think, at least an hour a day. He was totally filled with contentment when I did this. Nothing else mattered to him. In the summer time, we would haunt one wading pool or another in these city parks.

Both Luke and I still love parks. There is nothing that lifts my day up in the late afternoon than going for an exploratory walk in a park that I have never visited before. It is a delight to connect with the specific nature on display whether with the Douglas fir trees in a Cordova Bay park in Saanich, BC or walking along the lake in downtown Penticton, BC, I enjoy communing with nature no matter how big or small the park might be.

In the following article, about a playground-park in downtown Winnipeg back in the mid-1990s, I list some of its shortcomings. I guess this is because I believe we should encourage nature to shine through in its most beautiful, no matter where it is. Here is the piece:

West Central STREETS
October 1995
Hanging out at the park
by Tanya Lester

The swings, the monkey bars or just because it was a place to ‘hang out’ were reasons kids gave for visiting Furby Park one warm Sunday in late September.

Located on Furby a quarter block north of Ellice, adults frequently cut through the park on their way home while walking their dogs. Others were seen sitting on the benches and soaking up the sun’s rays.

The park seemed cleaner than some in the area but a Safeway shopping cart (they seem to be mandatory in all of our parks and playgrounds) marred the scenery.

The other eyesore was the much too shallow wading pool which has not had water in it for the last couple of summers. You might want to talk to our City Councillor (whoever that happens to be after the election) about putting in a deeper, more useful pool or more play structures. And while you’re at it, although I know those grocery bags get heavy and the cart helps you wheel them home, why not consider taking it back to the lot after using it?

Not that any of this bothered the kids who played a game of tag that seemed never ending from this adult’s point of view. Eight year old Josephine, who lives across the back lane on Langside, said she likes everything in the park including the people.

To read any of the first posts on this blog, please go to http://www.writingsmall.wordpress.com
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Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader by Tanya Lester can be purchased from the author or by going to the author and title (to read the first few pages and buy it) at amazon.com
Tanya Lester’s other books are Friends I Never Knew, Women Rights/Writes and Dreams and Tricksters. They are available in some library systems, the Provincial Library of Manitoba and elsewhere.


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