The golden light that filters down from the green canopy above touches me. Through the shade that wraps my bare arms in a blanket of dull sunlight I can see the back yard. My safety net. The damp pavement eachos the slapping of tan bare feet splashing against its wet pathway. We were children here. The young faces and voices echo in my memory swirling through the coils of my subconscious mind. Summer was so magically never-ending. My heart calls out to the places that surround my mind, familiar feelings of home awaken my senses. The smell of damp earth, wet pavement, a variety of fruits fresh from the vine, the sounds of a trickling pond where sometimes we play and sometimes fish swim, the taste of barbeque and forbidden sips of beer, the barking of a pup and the sounds of doves cooing and of children laughing, screaming and playing. This was what a backyard was meant to be. Cousins, siblings and the games we played will never escape my heart. We have grown older now and further apart in ways that cannot be altered, but for better or worse we have the image of that back yard forever imprinted on our souls.I sit watching my children growing in their small apartment play space and I mourn for them, the video games and TV and instant fun have robbed them of real true play – robbed them of imagination. I would give anything to have a house with a backyard. I could never deliver such a wilderness to them as that of my youth, but somewhere safe to play, to let their minds wonder and be lost for hours within the wilderness of their own making, to create that adventure that is hard to find on the sofa and within the four walls of our small living room. We can journey out into the world to look for play, but most now is guided and organized and regulated fun. To have a truly safe place for imagination to set in and creativity to take hold and childhood to begin is now my newest goal for my children.