Reconnecting - children and Nature

Submitted to Growing Up
Uploaded 19 Jun 2010 — 23 favorites
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© Suzanne McGeady
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

"Adventures in the great outdoors are vital to a child's development....Jon Henley" When my generation were growing up we had such freedom. On weekends, and holidays, we'd be gone from morning until hungry. As long as Mum knew where we were, she was happy. Small country towns were good for that! We'd cross railway bridges, hanging onto the sides while the goods train thundered by, then down the track to the swimming hole. Yes, we took risks. We'd play cowboys and indians in the paddock all afternoon, creating such make believe games. We'd be taught all the names of the birds, insects, trees and animals a forest held, and how to look after them. Except for possums, the bain of a forester's life. My brothers became good shots at an early age, possum fur was just beginning to be wanted by textile manufacturers. We used our imagination. We had limb tiring adventures. We ate healthy carbohydrate diets, and used the energy up every day, flinging ourselves muscle weary into bed each night.
I can only compare my childhood with the modern child's daily diet of TV, video games, dvds, recycled air, pressure cooking learning, and mall playgrounds. They only learn about the environment through books and the internet, from a distance, not through touching and reality. We have cotton-wool kids, wrapped up in fear-driven parcels by frightened parents. Frightened to let children find their own spacial awareness.
Even on cold winter's days its good to get out and run along the beach, little fantails keeping you company and cormorants wheeling over the waves...climbing tangled tree Katya aged nine did yesterday.

Thank you dear Cap'n Knight for putting a Spotlight on this image. As you have put a golden glow in my day, this little lady lightens up our hearts every moment we spend together. Have a wonderful day!

39 responses

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (19 Jun 2010):

    A superb description of a delightful childhood! It really is a shame that the kids today do not get these opportunities. I'm so glad we raised our children in a small town. Still not as carefree as my youth, but certainly better than the TV, video game, basically indoor lifestyle so prevalent today. Your capture is beautifully done, with wonderful framing.

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (19 Jun 2010):

    Thank you dear Susan. Small towns were great foundations for Future generations.

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (19 Jun 2010):

    So eloquently stated and SO true! Well done, Sue. Some of my happiest memories are of staying at my grandparent's farm and practically living in the outdoors!

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (20 Jun 2010):

    This is a fabulous photo together with a prevalent, good and important message Sue even city children were allowed to roam in parks etc and we did not come home until hungry either. Kick the Can was one of our favorite games.

  • daniele castellucchio

    daniele castellucchio gave props (20 Jun 2010):

    nice potrait!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (20 Jun 2010):

    So true and sad. One of the reasons I'm thrilled my granddaughters are visiting us in Italy is where we're living they can have the freedom to play and explore the way I did as a kid. Wonderful shot, my friend.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (20 Jun 2010):

    Sue, this is a captivating young lady at home in her environment (we used to say in her "element"). Your message is timely and on point. You have stated the case so well. Exceptional narrative accompanies this outstanding image. Well done! (Perhaps I should mention a favorite of ours, "Mumbly Peg." You and a friend would stand about 8 feet apart and then throw knives at each other's feet. The person sticking a knife the closest to the other player's foot won. However, if the knife actually stuck your opponent's foot, you were disqualified! LOL)

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (20 Jun 2010):

    I totally agree with you and everyone,,love insight and lovely image

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (20 Jun 2010):

    I won't exchange my childhood experience for anything. I love and cherished them up to this moment. This is a great capture and narrative.

  • Michael Sturgeon

    Michael Sturgeon gave props (21 Jun 2010):

    The photo is great .. but with your words it is wonderful. Your description took me back to my childhood as I read it. I think of children today and what they often miss out on because our world is not as innocent and we live often fearing that our children will come in harms way. Thank you for re-emerging some memories and bringing about some thoughts.of the future. Beautiful words, beautiful photo. Keep up the good work.

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (22 Jun 2010):

    What wonderful reminiscing with your own comments. Thank you for sharing your memories too.

  • Mary Brown

    Mary Brown gave props (23 Jun 2010):

    Suzanne, this is such a wonderful image...enhanced by your narrative. It brought back such great memories of my childhood in a small town. I went to school with the same kids from K through 12 and many of us are still very close today!! Thanks again.

  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (24 Jun 2010):

    With Us Too! well framed and versed

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (25 Jun 2010):

    Sooooo well done.

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (26 Jun 2010):

    A beautiful shot! I love the softened framing. The narrative is fabulous. I have often had fragments of those thoughts myself. We take out grandchildren out, as we did our children, to meet the creatures with whom we share our environment. They can name all the fish species that come to the spring at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park; and that is a considerable number. They can tell the difference between a venomous, and a nonvenomous snake. They respect the furry animals and the reptiles. There is so much to love. Thanks so much for sharing this, Sue!!

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (26 Jun 2010):

    When I see an image such as this and read words such as takes me back to a happier time so innocent and full of adventure. the image is so well composed..Thank you. . .

  • Richard Bruns

    Richard Bruns said (8 Jul 2010):

    A truly memorable image.

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (8 Jul 2010):

    Richard B....thank you so very much for spotlighting this image. Thank you for thinking it was good enough to share.

  • Julie Stiefel

    Julie Stiefel gave props (18 Jan 2011):

    Wonderful portrait (really cute kid!) and meaningful narrative!

  • jaume Morera Barreda

    jaume Morera Barreda gave props (27 Jan 2011):

    My vote...!!!

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (27 Jan 2011):

    Perfect for the theme, I voted.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (29 Jan 2011):


  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (29 Jan 2011):

    This is a perfect entry! Great capture. My vote.

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (29 Jan 2011):

    back to vote...


    JOE FAILK gave props (31 Jan 2011):

    Yea Rad Vote!

  • Kevin Kott

    Kevin Kott (Deleted) gave props (2 Feb 2011):

    Brilliant and voted!!!!!!!

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (4 Feb 2011):


  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker said (5 Feb 2011):

    BTV! I still love this, Sue!

  • MªTeresa Barreda Royo

    MªTeresa Barreda Royo gave props (6 Feb 2011):

    My vote...!!!

  • Michael Ball

    Michael Ball gave props (8 Feb 2011):

    You are so right in your descprition!! Excellent Suzanne!! Voted!

  • Lynn Pepper

    Lynn Pepper gave props (14 Feb 2011):

    Beautiful photo and description! - my vote

  • Merike Mäll

    Merike Mäll gave props (16 Feb 2011):

    hea pilt

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (21 Feb 2011):

    Oh YEAH! Rad!

  • Robin Perkins

    Robin Perkins gave props (26 Feb 2011):

    Lovely, you have my vote

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (7 Mar 2011):

    Oh Sue, what a lovely image of your Grand-Daughter, Katya (beautiful name too) and a wonderful narrative!

  • jaume morera guixa

    jaume morera guixa gave props (8 Mar 2011):

    My vote!!!!

  • Lêda Nardelli

    Lêda Nardelli gave props (16 Mar 2011):


  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (19 Mar 2011):

    Vote Suzane for you. You are OUTSTANDING always!!!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (12 Apr 2011):

    Your childhood sounds a lot like mine...Swimming...biking...walking ... rollerskating, iceskating.....tobaganing, hanging upside down from trees...picking berries in the woods, playing Cowboy and Indians, etc... wonderful image and wonderful narrative...You have my vote!

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