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Monthly Archives: November 2011

THE PLAYGROUND LESSONS

I am sure if you are close to my age, you remember the school and neighborhood playgrounds where you played while growing up. There were some valuable lessons shared on those old grounds around the neighborhood schools.

Did your school or neighborhood playground have a merry-go-round? I fondly remember the swift, metal ride on the playground at Sans Souci Elementary school in Greenville, South Carolina in the 1950’s. It was one of the most exciting free items of fun a child could experience at school. It was not particularly pretty. The paint was worn and rust was evident in places. And despite the fun, it was dangerous. You had to execute a good bit of strategy to know when to get on and off while it spun rapidly around. A dozen or so friends would randomly jump on or off, while two or 3 people stayed on the ground and grabbed the bars as they came by. These people would push or energize the momentum of the merry-go-round….and if you were lucky, you would laugh , and yell, “Geronimo!”, …and jump off safely into the red, sandy dirt rut that we had worn out.

I remember some serious injuries on the playground. I remember when Sheila got her leg caught under the merry-go-round and screamed and cried in pain. I also remember when Perry jumped from bar to bar on the monkey bars and fell and broke his arm. The cast was a grand badge of honor for him the next day.
That playground was where I caught my first interception as a fourth grader and giggled and ran like a girl to score a touchdown . I don’t think we “high-fived” back then, but I do remember getting some memorable pats on the back that day. One great memory I have is of a friend named Skip who had juvenile arthritis .He played just as hard as we did in spite of tremendous pain he must have suffered from his obvious physical impairment .

Playgrounds have healing power too I believe.
Playgrounds are wonderful places to learn lessons.

You have to know when to start and stop. You have to learn how far to jump and when to jump. and you have to learn which goal is yours and which one belongs to someone else.
Remember dodge ball? Now that is a great learning tool. People want to throw things and hurt you and you learn quickly when to jump and miss their projectiles….Isn’t life a lot like that?

God made playgrounds as great places to learn. If you decided to take a slide down the tall sliding board , you had to remember the old metal sliding board would be hot in the summer, and the end of the trip was a hard bump as your butt hit the ground. Thus, another lesson we learned and we in turn taught our children and grandchildren. Think today, as we grow older how we have to take care of the snags and sneers that trip us up and land us on our proverbial bottoms.

Playgrounds, I think will always be around as one of those great places God made for learning, for friendship and for memories..

How I love your teachings!
I think about about them all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
because they are mine forever.
I am wiser than all my teachers,
because I think about your rules.

PSALM 119:97-99

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Uncategorized