We Know A Better Word Than Happy is a short documentary on kids playing in The Children’s Wood, on the North Kelvin Meadow, right here in Glasgow’s Maryhill. The Wood and the Meadow are activist-established community green spaces that have been running for years. The documentary lets kids describe in their own words what they get out of it.
I loved hearing the different weans’ voices. Some are breathy whispers about tree-climbing, some are shrieks about fighting a dragon. Some talk directly about liking not to be cooped up in the house all day, some just involve you directly in their games. My favourite was Kez, who is one of those weans who already have their auld man voice. One of those weans that if you asked them how they’re doing, they’d be like, “That paper route is bursting ma heid, Aunty Sandra”. I loved him.
I watched all these kids running around in their wellies, macs, and waterproof trousers, and just thought, my mum would have killed me if I had rolled around in the mud like that. I used to love climbing trees, back when I was too convinced of my own immortality to ever worry I might fall. I was pretty good at it too, and could sit up in the right high branches. It’s good to see kids have a chance to do that. As the film points out, the Children’s Wood sits in an area where about a quarter of folk have no access to a garden.
Really nice to see the work of the Wood and Meadow recognised, and for young yins to be given a voice to say for themselves how it impacts them.