Backyard Photowalk

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

When I was young I remember waking up summer mornings, sun blazing through my East-facing window and warming the foot of my bed. My cat would hop across my sheet-covered legs to sprawl then bask in the rays. She would lay there until either her movements or the heat forced me to get up and toss on my freshly cut shorts, recycled from last school year’s jeans. Morning birds would sing, the garbage truck would roar, and my cereal would snap, crackle and pop.

Backyard Flower

The day’s activities were unknown but there were a few staple selections from which to choose. Badminton (if the net was still up), Frisbee (if it wasn’t on the roof), kiddie pool (if no beetles had found their way in), or one of the many yard games my siblings and I had invented (or adapted from summer camp play). All involved many hours in the backyard or on the front lawn; grass between the toes, honeysuckle patches, and avoiding any “gifts” the neighbour’s dog may have left us.

Backyard Backyard

Backyard Games

By August my bare feet would be worn from summertime activities rendering them tough enough to tread everywhere without shoes, from the kitchen to the back porch and across the gravel driveway. By bedtime they would be filthy but I took that as a sign of a summer day well-spent, filled with plenty of outdoor activity. That was the thing — we were always outdoors, even in the warm summer rain, which was perfect for making umbrella forts on the front patio.

I miss having a yard.


I have nothing to climb, nowhere to build a fort (no boys allowed), and no room to do cartwheels until my hair elastic falls out and I fall to the ground, dizzy yet full of giggles. I have deadlines, I have writing and research, and I have PHP to code for website development. The best I can do is go for simple walks in the park, which oddly enough often satisfies this longing. Not in a “climbing a tree and getting sap all over my hands which I then wipe on my previously mentioned cutoffs” kind of way, but in how it’s — even in the slightest way — an escape.

Backyard Grapes

It’s not often enough that we take time to recharge, and everyone does that differently. Before heading on another trip next week, I took my laptop (now permanently by my side since my iMac died) out to my parents’ backyard. I drank a slurpee. I did work. I sat on the grass until my legs were embossed with outlines of clover.

There are so many ways to “escape” and enjoy our amazing region. Whether it’s going home every now and then or exploring new beaches, parks, trails, or festivals in town. Happiness is in my own backyard, and sometimes that has nothing to do with owning a house or setting up a badminton net.

Backyard Flower

From my personal collection of posts (that I do not update often enough) including my trips to Iowa, Homecomings and Homecomings 2

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3 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. nancy (aka moneycoach)Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 — 8:01pm PDT

    What a delightful post. It inspired me to think back on my own childhood summers. For me, it was the endless daylight (Yellowknife), plus sometimes a tent in the yard where we’d get to sleep just for fun, and then get up at 1am (still dusky out) and *think* I was sneaking peas and carrots from the garden when really my mom was happy that I was eating them!

  2. Ariane CThursday, August 19th, 2010 — 3:18pm PDT

    The simple pleasures of summer are so often overlooked. We’re spoiled in Vancouver with the mountains and sea at our doorstep. I hope that more of your readers take the hint and look around their neighbourhoods, nudge their eyes away from their smart phones (myself included at times!) long enough to pause and enjoy the scenery!

  3. Lumen PhotoFriday, August 20th, 2010 — 8:29am PDT

    One of my favourite places near to Vancouver which feels like the tone of this post is Bowen Island. Its a giant backyard and if you want a taste of nature I suggest you go check it out. There is a Harbour Ferry that leaves from Granville Island 6 times a day!

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