Scamper – yes, scamper – that’s the word I was searching for. The little Indio children were playing tag in a maze of mangrove roots, and I was looking for the perfect verb to describe their dexterity and speed as they chased each other. They were not running and they were not leaping - they were … scampering. And what made their game even more amazing, was the fact that they were doing this with bare feet.
While viewing this exquisite scene, in which raw Nature was their playground, how could I not contrast it with the “children’s recreation areas” of the so-called First World. Among the tangled branches and roots of this authentic jungle gym, there were many sharp spikes that taught them a valuable lesson. These kids learned to play with joy and abandon, but to also pay attention.
I marveled at the stark difference between this playground, which was literally growing out of the Earth and the Sea, and the plastic, rounded-edges, garishly-bright, child-safe playgrounds of El Norte. Once again, my beloved Archipelago of Bliss, with its primitive wisdom, seemed to offer better life lessons than the advanced societies.