Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Green is good for you

Health News Article | Reuters.com
Every so often, and unfortunately far too often, I see a news item that proclaims something that is so horribly obvious but which we seem to have somehow forgotten. Reuters news service today ran an article about how researchers have found that children with attention deficit syndrome and hyperactivity become calmer when they spend time in green places. Well, duh. What an extraordinary idea. Children need to be out of doors among trees and plants.

I don't know. Probably I've been spoiled by the fact that I lived my childhood in green spaces because my parents believed that children belonged outside of the house as long as the sun was shining or at least it wasn't pouring buckets. I also was able to spoil my own children in that respect and able to toss them outside as much as possible. Egypt's climate, like Southern California's, is great that way. If I have to spoil and be spoiled, that's the way to do it. Better a day fishing or hiking than a day in the mall.

The fact that this story is news is probably even more interesting than the story itself. Humans had best be careful with their living spaces because it is much too easy to live in nice clean concrete than it is to cope with the randomness and mess of nature. But it isn't good for us. I get anxious after a week in Manhattan or London. Some park time calms me, but it isn't as good as going out my front door and gazing over the fields behind my house. I guess that I'm living proof that these researchers know what they are talking about.

My daughter took care of my menagerie while I went to Sharm utterly dogless for 3 days. Her remark when I came home made me laugh. "Staying alone at your house is too much work to be a holiday, Mom." Well, yes. You have to be up in the morning to feed the dogs and parrots and to prepare the dog food for later. The garden needs watering daily in the summer and the animals have to be fed again in the afternoon. Then, if there are any animals sick or injured, the medications have to be administered. No, it is a job, but those days that I can just stay around the house and paddocks to do it, well, they are the best.

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