Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Lovin'

Growing up, I spent summer weekends roaming the shores of Lake Erie with my sister and our friends. We searched for tiny shells to make necklaces with, observed the local wildlife (mainly dead fish) and perfected the art of skipping stones along the water. I remember falling asleep at night listening to the crash of the waves on the shore and the crickets chirping outside. Back then, it was “the kind of casual, daily intimacy with nature that was simply a way of life,” says author Katrina Kenison in her book of reflections for mothers, Mitten Strings for God. Well, we all know things have changed nowadays. The reality is I’m the last person to let my kids wander freely without adult supervision. So, I have learned to re-connect with my inner child, exploring along with my children as they gather stones, search for fossils and make creations from beach clay. This summer, we will make it a point to explore parks, beaches and woods in search of fresh air, exercise and the all-important bond with Mother Nature. Just this past weekend, we took the kids to visit their grandparents and explore that very same beach that I loved as a child. The kids are never so content as they are at the beach, wading in the water, collecting rocks and soaking up the sunshine. “Our children offer us an opportunity to rediscover the marvels of nature for ourselves,” Kenison writes. “You don’t need to be a naturalist or a teacher. In fact, you don’t need to identify a single bird or flower or constellation. All you need is a willingness to go, to look, and to drink in the mystery and beauty of the world before your eyes.”

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