Some photos of the gradual greening of our world:
A neighbor boy, eighth grader, came by yesterday to ask if he could catch a frog from our pond to bring in to science class. The fact that he came to the door to ask permission, and explained that he had had a conversation with his science teacher who had caught a frog as well, was huge progress.
J. and I are in an ongoing balancing act with our beloved fields out behind our home. We like the idea of our neighbors enjoying the space, snowshoeing, walking, etc. On the other hand, we both cherish solitude. A lot of the time when I go back there, I'm looking for solitary reflection, not the companionship of a bunch of teenage boys throwing sticks in the water. That's to say nothing of the fear of injury, especially during ice-in and ice-out vulnerable times.
But I can't stand the American practice of disallowing everything that might lead to an accident or a lawsuit. Freedom is what we value, and freedom comes with risks, and openness, not a lot of rules and restrictions.
When I found out some boys were injuring frogs, that was easy - No, out, leave, never again. Paintball games out back...okay, this time. I did consider a request from a teacher I like, who used to go bow-hunting on our field when the previous owner lived here. But ... I like the deer, and don't want my dogs finding his field dressed leavings. Plus we had goats at the time that walk with us. He finally retracted the request when he saw my ambivalence.
Basically, we have said that young people may use the space, but should ask first. Adults - please enjoy it without asking every time, but if you see one of us, let's both wave hello and quietly go our own way.
It's not straightforward, this idea of sharing or holding for yourself. There is a general phenomenon of guilt for having a lot in the first place, and this is just one example. A lot of life is balancing contribution with personal gain, and no one knows exactly what's right. We do the best we can.