Friday, June 28, 2019
If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “The more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.” ~ David Sobel
Nature inspires me. She invites me to connect to my inner child - to play, rest, walk, meditate. There’s no end to the lessons nature provides when I spend time exploring, allowing a childlike sense of awe and wonder to accompany me. In exchange she asks me to be a caretaker, to honor the natural world and remind others of the need to walk mindfully on this beautiful planet, Mother Earth.
Spending time with my family, especially with my grandchildren, brings back sweet memories of my early years as a child and then a mother. As a child I spent many creative hours exploring the orange grove near my home and playing with friends outside. I wanted my own children to have similar experiences in the natural world. I wanted them to be creative problem solvers and develop a sense of freedom in making choices, with guidance and supportive boundaries. Nature can teach us much about this.
As parents we are often to overwhelmed by responsibilities and daily life. I guess that’s where grandparents come in! In retrospect I see that I was able to be a supportive parent but I couldn’t do it all. As a grandparent I realize how important it is to get children out in nature, to explore and just enjoy the natural world. All too soon little ones become adolescents and, for a time, are not interested in many of the simple joys in nature that enthralled them only a few years before. But the values and experiences children glean from nature stay with them forever and they will return to those simple joys later in life.
When we invite children to spend time in nature they develop a strong relationship with the natural world and a sense of self, flourishing and becoming empowered. This love of earth creates a strong foundation for becoming a fully empowered human being who will love and protect Mother Earth.
It’s never too late to fall in love with nature. Enjoy nature. Reconnect with your own inner child and be reminded of the wonder of it all!