It all comes down to how we pronounce it as to the meaning we ascribe to it.
In ReCREATION, we find balance and sustainability. Here, lifestyle tends towards harmony where interlocking life issues draw strength and oxygen from each other, and the play supports the work and the work enhances the play.
With rEcreation, my interpretation is that we are starting anew; the button has just been pushed; the dawn has arrived; a new or innovative possibility has come to the fore.
I would like to combine the two and push them both into the garden. I’ve a background in permaculture and I have been impressed with writings by Stephen Kellert and E.O Wilson on Biophillia, or the “love of life” and natures role in it, and Richard Louv’s discussions around “The Nature Principle” and the topic of “nature deficit syndrome”, a green adaptation of the over-patronised “attention deficit disorder syndrome”.
Both talk to me in powerful ways and both talk to me about a forgotten, or lost, time and space; something from our shades of innocence and yet something so magnificent and elegantly simple we seem to continually look the other way when it comes into view. It is the simplicity of the garden. The peacefulness of the garden. The playfullness of the garden. The beauty, the silence, the nature and the magnificence of the garden. These words are more than descriptive adjectives, they form a value that we often find impossible to match in other parts of our everyday life, and far too often, through, really, a lack of full appreciation, we retreat into technology and the electronic ether and disengage with life and living. Conversely, staying with nature offers us a myriad of physical, emotional and spiritual potency that is BOTH ReCREATION and rEcreation.
Somewhere between the invention of the world’s first labour saving device, the wheel, the television remote control, the microwave and the all to selfish and nature awareness destroying ipod, we have lost and forgotten the value of ReCreating and rEcreating in the humble garden.
The garden doesn’t ask a lot of us. If we leave it, nature has a tendency to find it’s own harmony and self determines it’s own development – it may not represent the cultivated and contrived garden of our dreams, but in all it’s glory, nature finds the connecting and complementary pathways of least resistance.
We can give to the garden in many ways in terms of water, nutrients, seeds and sunshine, and, we can also take from the garden in terms of food, space, play, trimming, weeding and order. So we could say, that, over time, we might balance out with the garden in terms of our givings and takings.
Far too often, these are passive and not active. Far too many of us fail to recognise the true value of the garden and the true value we can achieve in ReCREATING and rEcreating in and with the garden. It is too easy to dismiss, ignore and by pass this silent warrior. Far too many find it a “chore” to actively engage in the garden and so we attack it with over engineered motorised tools of annihilation and deafening noise that destroy any peaceful value we place on ours and surrounding gardens. We hide our children away from it’s beauty and creative space, and if we have community parks, we scare ourselves and the legal fraternity with simple games like swings, round-a-bouts and climbing castles!
We are losing the value of the natural garden and park space. We are allowing it to again be pushed aside by fast paced technology and powerful commercial advertising dominations. Like the food we eat, if the apple and orange farmers had as much advertising clout as a fast food chain, we would all be eating 6 pieces of fruit a day and health would be jumping for joy!!
But we don’t, and we don’t with the garden. The value and values are there but we are losing the opportunity to both ReCREATE and rEcreate.
It costs not a lot, and yet it gives so very much.
I would encourage you to re-discover the value of, and in, the garden for yourself.