I was listening to an old Cat Stevens track called as per title above and it occurred to me that these days there is nowhere they can.
In my youth we were free and safe to run in the grass and the woods, but over the years the concrete encroaches on the wilds, it pushes out to cover the land and in the process leaves the children more and more isolated from nature.
At 5 years old I knew the sound of a badger's cough, a foxes bark, a blackbird's call from any other. Do they now? No, not because they are less interested, but because they have never been exposed to those sounds.
In my very early teens I was taken under the wing of a gillie. He seemed ancient to me then, but he must have been about 40 I suspect. This man took me out into the wilds. He taught me to track. To tell the print of the badger from the wildcat. To listen to the noises and sometimes the absence of those noises, in the mountain lands and to know why the sudden silences happened.
I have tried to teach my children this, but of the two, only one could accept the lessons I tried to impart. The other has, unfortunately, been lost to the god of business. Of the almighty pound/dollar and I count that loss as my failure.
I and my children were lucky. In my youth I walked the highland ways of my native Scotland. I walked them with a great teacher and he caused me to love the wild lands. I have wild lands, flat granted, close to where I now live so I had the opportunity to try to pass on this love of the open, free, wild paces to my childern.
It took root in one of them and for that I am grateful. What I learned I have passed on to at least one of them, but what of the others?
What of the city kids? Those brought up in the brick and concrete?
Where will those children and their children play?