Steps (15): Sturdy steps [nederlands]
I like stairs that have been built to create a more varied park image. They are often the most beautiful places in a park. Of course, a straightforward staircase also has its charms, as long as it is placed in a good place. Although perhaps stamping out of the ground is a better expression: it must be firm, and safe.
Climbing stairs does not come naturally, as a child you have to learn that. When my son was born, we lived in a flat, so climbing stairs was rare. Only when we had things to do outside the house, sometimes, because often we went by bike, and then we had to take the elevator. The playgroup was on the ground floor, so nothing could be learned there either.
So when we moved to a real house, with stairs leading up, he wasn't used to it yet. He was barely 4, he clambered up the stairs on all fours. The housing person who showed us the house said you could tell he lived in a flat.
As a parent you also try to establish a kind of firmness, to offer a safe home. Some people or parents succeed in this better than others, after all, one parent is not the same. Some parents have all the factors you need at hand: nice family nearby, work or something else that provides sufficient income, friends who can help, good childcare, good contacts with neighbors. And others lack a few things, making things a lot more complicated. A matter of privileges.
There also seems to be a kind of stairway in parenting: a long time ago, many things we didn't know, or weren't told. For example, my parents knew less about some things than i did, and my son knows better than i do how things should be for his children. And everyone tries to do better than their parents did, makes mistakes, picks up again, tries to do better again. And unfortunately, things often go wrong, from minor difficulties to very serious situations.
I often dream of stairs. Complicated stairs, stairs that get longer and longer, or get strange curves as i walk on them. Stairs that suddenly become elevators, stairs that try to catapult me, and stairs that suddenly have large holes. Or stairs that cannot sufficiently bridge the space up there, and that you then also have to squeeze yourself into an impossible bend to get through some weird gap. And no one has a problem with that, except me. One stair climber is not the other.
And so one park staircase is not the other. Some are located in beautifully landscaped parks, others in a somewhat shady piece of green; sometimes it's a few steps, and sometimes an adventurous little system for the midjumpstep. One staircase is bathed in light, while another one causes an unwary stair-goer to break their legs. There are even park steps that lead to nothing. That you walk up enthusiastically, and end up with your nose against a wall of unwelcoming thorn bushes. You first have to go back home to put on your protection suit, and back again to get through. While you don't even know what's behind it yet. Probably a highway that had to be hidden through the park, the exhaust fumes offset by a bunch of trees.
There is so much that is hidden from view in life, although here and there something shines through the trees. Silhouettes of another life, ideas of delicacy, glimpses of love, justice. But how do you get through the almost impenetrable thorny bushes without protection?