Pictures in my soul


The skim-boarding phase. Waiwera beach, Auckland. NZ. Image: Gray-Leslie family archive.

“The soul can not think without a picture. “Aristotle, Greek philosopher, 384–322 BC

If the human soul is the seat of principles, thoughts and emotions, then the prevailing picture in my soul is of two things I most want to cherish and protect; my son, and the natural world.

My boy is fortunate to have grown up with a vast natural playground all around him. Every child deserve this, and every single one of us needs to take whatever steps we can to protect, preserve and if possible restore our natural world for the good of our own souls, and for those yet to come.

Debbie, at Travel with Intent, hosts a weekly quotation challenge. Visit to see her stunning photos, and find links to other participants’.

16 thoughts on “Pictures in my soul

  1. 100% agree with this. One of the best things I could assure in my job as a mother was that my son was able to grow up as free as humanly possible. He spent most of his time not at school and learning but being outside, at the lake shore, in the wood, playing, growing to love nature (he learned landscape gardening later on and now lives in the Swiss mountains with the closest possible contact with nature). In the end, this probably saved his sanity, because a lot of schooling (which I loved and adored and couldn’t understand then that my child didn’t aspire to the same things as his mother did) didn’t do anything for him, but being with his friends outside, doing sport (he taught at 16yrs a group of junior indoor hockey) made him the person he needed to become.

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  2. Nothing like having fun outdoors, though not everyone lives in such a beautiful place as you do! My kids played outside whenever the weather permitted, albeit on a housing estate once we had returned from South Africa. I felt very bad taking them away from that environment, but needs must. I feel so sorry for youngsters today who are mostly cooped up in their homes and not allowed the freedom to even play out on the street or nearby park.

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    • One of our main reasons for coming back to NZ was our sense (whether accurate or not) that it was a safer place to raise the kid. We were in the UK at the time of the James Bulger murder and a couple of other horrible crimes involving children, and I’m sure that affected our outlook. We have been lucky here to live in a small community where people really did know their neighbours and weren’t afraid to call kids out on bad behaviour. But equally to look out for them when they got hurt or anything.

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  3. I think Aristotle was spot on with this!
    So many wonderful photos – you can see how much fun he has which simply makes me smile. 😊
    And YES! to protecting our world for us and future generations to come.
    I’m currently reading ‘ The Wall’ by John Lanchester where he describes a world after the big ‘Change’ and in which one generation has to pay for the faults of the former one – very haunting!

    Liked by 1 person

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