A Look at my Backyard
A quick Google search of the word “backyard” would yield various pictures of greenery. However, a number of us living in urban cities would only recognize this idea, but would be detached or foreign to the actual experience of having our own green backyards.
I grew up in a rural area, where land was fertile and greenery was also abundant. We used to have a reasonably spacious garden for a backyard, where my mother would grow vegetables and trees that would yield fruits during summer. She would delightfully show us green leaves of various vegetables, freshly picked from the backyard, which she would then use for that day's lunch, or mangoes that were perfectly and naturally ripe. Aside from a garden, we also had poultry in our backyard: two roosters that would wake us up at dawn and hens that would quickly lay eggs which would make it to our breakfast table.
Now that I've moved to the city, it seems that I'm missing more and more of this organic lifestyle. I feel that my deprivation of a proper backyard has choked my health as well. It has changed numerous personal habits for better or for worse. Not having roosters in my backyard, I now wake up to an alarm clock which I habitually snooze until I hear cars stuck in traffic outside my apartment. I buy my vegetables from a supermarket despite them looking lifeless and being too expensive for both their quantity and quality. Not having a proper backyard also means the loss of my sense of privacy and having noisy or drunk neighbors as my goodnight lullaby instead of the sound of trees swaying. Who would have known that the simple existence of a backyard could change so much in our lives. .
During my college days, I learned that due to the lack of land area in urban cities, city planners came up with an idea of a “shared backyard” particularly for health and re-creation purposes of the community: a green park. Indeed, numerous cities have alloted funds in line with this endeavor. New York has its famous Central Park, Chicago has its Lincoln Park, London has Hyde Park and Tokyo has its Ueno Park. Although these parks and other conservation areas have become our “shared backyard”, for me, nothing could replace the experience of having our own poultry wake us up at dawn and having the privelege of having home-grown, freshly picked vegetables for lunch.
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