Art / Ecology / History / Memories / Thoughts

The Playground

File:Chornobyl DSC 0319 34.JPG

Heavy rain was pouring down. The sky was dark gray. I was standing at my kitchen window, looking down into the playground behind the house. The water was running down the slightly sloped way, into the playground. It was flowing into the children’s sandbox, forming a puddle in the sand, and seeped away. And I knew this meant that children would not play again in this sand.

Everything looked normal and peaceful; just like a usual thunderstorm. But this scene, more than 27 years ago, has remained in my memory, while the memories of many other days of falling rain have blurred and faded away. It was an eerie and creepy feeling to watch this rain, knowing it was contaminated with radioactive nuclides. When I see playgrounds in the rain, sometimes this memory comes up.

The playground would be closed for some time and the sand from the sandbox was to be replaced some time later. We abstained from certain foods for some time, especially milk products. Children were kept indoors. We avoided being exposed to rain.

Near the site of the explosion, people entered busses and where brought away, never to return.

File:Chornobyl DSC 0226 31.JPG

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(The pictures are from and

They were taken in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in 2013.)

10 thoughts on “The Playground

      • Oh, they left willingly then? I first read it as if they were removed because they may be contaminated with the radiation fall out. Sorry state the world is in.

        By the way, saw the first swift the other day. Still haven’t found a feasible website about them but apparently, according to a bird expert in this area, our swallows (amongst them the rare blue swallow) and swifts don’t travel as far as Europe for their summers. They go to the north of Africa.

        • Well, the people where evacuated because of the radiation. A few old people are still there (or returned later?), but I don’t think the people left vlountarily in the real sense.

    • The memory with the falling rain is my own. That the people of Chernobyl area where evacuated I know, of course, from the media. I am not from that area. The pictures are from Wikimedia Commons. You can see there how that gost town looks now.

      • I see. I’ve watched a few documentaries on Chernobyl – centered on events that took place directly after the catastrophe, and the situation today. It’s very sad. I fear Japan’s will be much worse, however. We are still being fed updates, because either their government doesn’t want to scare their citizens, or they don’t understand everything that has been impacted. Probably a little of both.

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