When I was a child, in the 1950’s, you could go outside on any night of the year, and it was quiet; really quiet. Not a sound. Not a car or interstate in the distance, not an airplane, not even the buzz of a transformer attached to a nearby electric pole.
When I was a child, It was dark; really dark. There were no houses nearby to give off even a soft glow from its windows. There were no cities nearby giving off a yellowish-orange glow like a forest fire in the distance. There were no security lights in everyone’s driveway because we were secure.
When I was a child, everything was much simpler, Life did not move at breakneck speed. Chores got done and things were accomplished but there was no rush to get done. There was no soccer practice to get to or appointment at the gym. We worked and played at a reasonable pace and occasionally we had to be somewhere. We had to catch the bus in the morning for school. We had to be on time for Sunday School. Once in a great while, we had a doctor’s appointment, but only when we were really sick.
When I was a child, we planned our trips to town. We didn’t hop in the car 4 times a day to pick up something we needed. We thought ahead and made a list. If Dad needed to pick up feed for our livestock, then Mom rode along and got groceries at the same time. If we forgot something, we waited until the next planned trip. We were careful in our thinking about that list.
When my own children came along, it began to change. There were more activities…more opportunities … more things to do. By the time my grandchildren came along it had changed noticeably. They are busy every day of the week. Swim team, gymnastics, dance lessons, soccer teams, hockey teams… and they are only in elementary school. I guess its good. They are not sitting in front of the TV or playing video games endlessly.
Still…. I wonder….. are we all too busy? Are there too many things to do? Are kids on “activity overload”? I don’t know the answers to these questions. I would like to believe that someday things will return to a more leisurely pace….. I think there is a lot to be said for being inactive and knowing how to cope with quietness and being able to entertain yourself. I do know that those busy grandchildren love to visit grandma and grandpa out here on the farm…. I like to think it’s because when they are here they are enjoying the simple things in childhood… like when I was a child.