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Image for article Get Out And Play

Get Out And Play

Image for article Get Out And Play

They demolished the bus depot near to where I used to live. Behind the safety fencing lay piles of brick, twisted metal sheets and wooden frames. A section of roof remained and beneath it the remnants of rooms, the offices perhaps. I walked past one Sunday afternoon and observed it was still and silent, there were certainly no children around. No surprise really. However, thirty years ago we'd have been swarming all over a place like that. Climbing, hauling, digging, searching, staking our claim, and in the process, taking risks. I think we called it playing.

I still play today. I dagger my way up snow filled gullies, I cut steps into the ice, I make a safe platform on which to stand, I find a pinnacle to place a sling over and I take in the rope as my trusted playmate makes his way up towards me before taking his turn to lead on.

We should never stop playing. That wonderful state of mind, so concentrated that all that really matters in the world is those and that, which are immediately around us, and the toys or if you like, tools, that are to hand.

Next time you get the chance, get out and play. You needn't climb, you may be on the coast, ship wrecked, and walking for miles searching for signs of other life or wood to build a raft. You never know, it could be so beautiful, so perfect there, you might never want to leave.

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