Writing101, Day Eleven: Size Matters (In Sentences)
Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?
Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.
It’s been said many times that physical activity is good for our mental health. I agree. And I worry about the new generation’s penchant for technology. See, when I was 12 years old, technology was not as advanced as it is now and everybody loved to go outdoors.
Did you know that the Philippines was called the Pearl of the Orient Seas? It was a beautiful country. Still is. Rich with natural resources. Oozing with energy and vitality. Everywhere was so soothing and everyone was so cheerful.
When I was 12 years old, we utilized the availability of outdoors–our tropical country offered endless entertainment, relaxation, and wonderful opportunities to spend with loved ones.
In the Philippines, there are only two seasons: rainy days and sunny days.
The latter was my favourite. On those days, everything was bright, clear, and cheerful. Nothing dampened my spirit. On school days, I ran during recess, lunch, and dismissal time. I played soccer-baseball during intramural sports. On summer days, I played all kinds of outdoor games with my cousins. Patintero, Block-1-2-3, Chinese garter, ten-twenty, hide-and-seek, and plenty of variations of tag. We went on outings and swam. It was awesome.
Our house had a two-car garage. Unlike in North America, it was a long strip of pavement that fit two parallel-parked cars. Only half of it had a roof. And the garage door was a huge manual gate that opened outwards onto the street. That was where we played most of our games. We biked. We roller-skated. We played monkey-in-the-middle. We showered in the rain there. We even learned to scale the gates to get in when we forgot our house keys.
At our cousins’, we played at a small basketball court. It was basically a paved area with a basketball ring where the boys and the older men of the clan played ball. But most days, we kids took over the court. We marked bases in a diamond pattern and kicked plastic balls. We traced imaginary lines and trapped our opponents or tagged them when they crossed. We skipped and tumbled. We ran.
On particularly good days, our families went on outings. We went on roadtrips. We visited the provinces and took in the beauty of beaches, rivers, mountains, and volcanoes. We breathed in the unpolluted air. We rode horses. We picked strawberries and bought ube jams.
There was an unlimited number of activities we did on that little archipelago in the East.
And now I realize how alive I felt then. How happy and carefree I was. But whether or not I’ve had depression since then, being an active child and being able to go outdoors a lot definitely helped me in being more resilient.
I’m not against the ever-evolving technological era. Far from it. I love how a lot of things are accessible because of computers. However, many kids are cooped up in their houses, eyes glued to screens. They don’t need to excel at sports or dance, but they do need to take care of their mental health by taking care of their body.
It is sad how the youth of today only become physically active if they join a class, a team, or a training program. It’s unfortunate how parents have to shell out so much money before their children can play. What happened to spontaneous outdoor games with friends? Pick-up games at the soccer field? And refreshing walks at the park?
Your reminiscing and wondering friend,