After I posted the photo of the girl on the swing I started to think about childhood pleasures. Parents these days seem to be inundated with advice on the importance of a rich environment for children. Unfortunately this often seems to be interpreted to me lots of educational toys and "baby Mozart" DVDs.
I believe that when I was growing up I had a very rich environment. Lots of time at the beach and outdoors, climbing trees, sliding down flax bushes and making tunnels through the daisy bushes. Many, many books borrowed from the library, which had far more books than my parents could have ever bought me. Time spent with adults who could respond individually - my parents, and my grandparents just up the road. A grandfather who believed in learning enough that he was still learning himself (Esperanto and chess were his two big retirement pastimes). Nature, of course, can do something that no "educational" plastic toy can ever do - it can change from day to day, all by itself.
This child is spending time in just the sort of environment I loved as a child (even though I was totally unathletic, as you will see from my sidebar, I loved the outdoors). I don't know who he (or she?) is - I snapped this during the "farewell to the godwits" ceremony held here a couple of years ago. They do it every year when the birds are about to set off on the long journey from New Zealand to Siberia - a miracle of nature that impressed this child far less than the miracle of sand and water.
For more photos of children, visit Thematic Photographic at Carmi's blog.