Retrospect: vacant lots

Self-tutoring about vacant lots: the tutor reflects….

I lived in the Annapolis Valley from ages 10 to 13. They were some of the best years of my life.

The school had three playgrounds: a big school, it was, K-7, 700 kids. I don’t recall playgrounds anywhere else. There may’ve been some, but I don’t recall them.

Perhaps where you might have imagined a playground, one institution that was important there was the vacant lot. There were numerous around: land wasn’t expensive. I knew of two right near my house – one about three houses to the right, then across the street, and another a block away, straight down a T-junction. A block was about six houses.

The lots had been cleared of trees long since. They had tall grass, but nothing else. So although they weren’t mown, they were definitely kept, to some extent. (Just who did so, or how, I never saw.) Neither was level; rather, they had mounds of earth a couple of feet high, randomly placed. Possibly, when the land had been cleared, tree stumps had been removed, and so on, forming the mounds.

Both lots had bike paths. The larger had one that passed through it, basically straight across.

The smaller lot had a circular bike path which effort had clearly been spent making. The mounds had been shaped to form a jump and raised turns.

Sometimes I visited those paths, but almost always alone. They remained worn, but I never saw anyone on either. Even in that village, there were obviously kids living nearby I didn’t know and never saw. It was a very small place: the reason the school had such high enrollment was that it drew kids from perhaps 10km or more.

While those lots, most probably, were owned by someone, no-one ever approached me to tell me to leave. I wonder if, today, they remain as they were.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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