Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Playground on Rock?

We went on a family outing to southern Utah this past weekend. We were able to see Canyonlands and Natural Bridges National Parks. It was a nice adventure and I was very impressed with the Native America Petroglyphs that we were able to see while hiking. Some were off the beaten path away from most tourist spots. Like young children, they were able to tell stories through pictures. A true written dialogue.
In one park we were able to see the ruins of the Anasazi from at least 700 years ago. As we were looking at the homes in the cliffs, I was struck by the thought of how difficult it would have been to allow children to safely play on the sloping rock. We don't even allow slides on school playgrounds anymore and here was an entire village on a cliff. Where was the gate for the top of the stairs? I am happy that we are so conscious of safety in our time, but I wonder if children were more prepared for life when they had to learn how to protect themselves. Perhaps many children in the 1300s lost their lives because of their lack of protection. But, it makes me wonder if sometimes we protect children so much they don't develop life skills. Maybe protect is not the correct word. Maybe it's smother. Just thinking out loud as I wonder how they stayed up there.

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