When you spend time with your child in natural settings, you and your child get to feel the closeness of the beauty of the earth. Although we live on the earth, breathe its’ air, eat food from it, we rarely allow time to feel the quiet presence of things in Nature.
Watching the seasons change, feeling the air change from still to windy, watching the moisture steam up from a meadow of wild flowers are ways we can experience the stillness and quiet of Nature.
Making a nature journal is an easy way to record your experiences in Nature starting with your backyard or a local park. Fold a few pieces of paper into a journal and grab a pencil. Lie down right on top of the ground and draw a blade of grass. Accurate representation is not the goal. Looking at the plant is.
Running around and tumbling in grassy areas feels good. Walking along a trail in the woods feels cozy. It is fun to look up into the trees and follow the branches up to the sky. It is a completely different feeling to look closely at the leaves under foot and to listen to the rustle as you walk through them.
Pausing to look closely at a leaf and to draw it brings you closer to Nature. Feeling the bark of different trees gives a memorable sensation. Looking closely at a spider’s web and noticing different ways spiders build their webs expands your own first hand knowledge.
Our experiences in Nature let us feel the difference of being in a quiet atmosphere. Looking at natural shapes and colors builds a sense of comfort with the earth. Taking our children to visit natural areas helps them become acquainted with this rich resource. It helps them grow up to value and protect it.
© 2014 Kathryn Hardage