In praise of the puddle

How a little rain links our childhood games to today’s drought-related problems.

Also published in: Tsport 350
(Ph. Shutterstock)

You’ve never been a child if you haven’t jumped feet first into a puddle‘, quotes a popular aphorism. After all, isn’t the puddle one of the most basic outdoor childhood games, albeit feared and forbidden by parents?

Nowadays, however, after fifteen months of dry weather with brief periods of normality, finding the reflection of some puddle left by a providential night rain in the morning can only arouse a sense of serenity and confidence in place of the atavistic fear of stepping in a footfall.

This is the case at least in those regions where the obvious rainfall deficit is making itself felt most, and by now not only by those who tend plants and gardens (or turf on football pitches) but by anyone who is at least sensitive to what is happening around them.

In a city like Milan, as spring awakens, one can count how many small trees, despite having shed their foliage early during the extraordinary summer drought, have managed to flourish again and how many have not.

The ongoing climate crisis (in some respects not reversible in the immediate future, in others hopefully temporary) now appears in all the sector analyses regarding our field of work: from sports green management, of course, to ‘sustainable’ design in the broadest sense. In this issue of Tsport, and in the seminars held during these months, the topic of grass prevails, and this is what we have focused on for now; next autumn Tsport will address the topic of sustainability more broadly (both on these pages and in a specific seminar), and the climate will certainly return to the fore.

So our puddle has taken us from poetry to childhood games, to gardening, to sports facilities; and we hope that the coming months will dispense just enough puddles to avert an emergency of unpredictable consequences.