Starting a Nature board on Pinterest isn’t enough. I can’t just believe nature to be important, I have to walk the talk. Literally.
Wednesday I wrote the original draft of yesterday’s post on noticing, knowing, and being in nature. I knew I had to take the children and myself outside. I can’t just believe nature to be important, I have to walk the talk. Literally.
We bundled up. Extra pants, hats, scarves. As it turned out, 23 degrees and sunny isn’t too cold.
My 5yo made large footprint spirals in the fresh snow and then insisted on pretending to be a dragon and travel through the snow on the edge of the road on all fours. I was impatient. Why couldn’t she just walk on the asphalt with me? That would certainly be faster. And my older boys were ahead, out of sight, in the woods already.
That is not walking the nature talk. I needed to stop. Well, I already was stopped, waiting for her to catch up. I needed to breathe. I needed to notice she was being in nature. Her face was inches from the snow as she galumped along.
We did reach the woods. We spent an hour in total outside – looking at tracks, testing the ice on the creek, climbing over fallen logs. It was a good hour, a great hour. It was a nature walk. Not a march, not a hike, just a walk.
We took an evening walk as well, to the park. It was colder then, but we enjoyed it. The clouds had started to move in, but as we walked home, one of the boys looked up and there was the constellation Orion. We all stopped to find his three star belt – the one constellation we all know. There were, noticing the stars, knowing the stars, being under the stars together. Walking the talk.
How many constellations will we learn this year? How many will we be able to name if we stop looking down at our cellphones as we walk under the sky?
Yesterday it was even colder, 11 degrees, and yet we bundled up again and went out. My 12yo checked his snow den and discovered it really was warmer. We don’t just need quality time in nature, we need quantity time in nature. Even in the cold.
In the woods, by the creek, we saw a bird – it seemed blueish, with a large head and had a kind of crest, and made a very distinctive call as it flew by. Definitely not a blue jay, could it be a kingfisher? When we got home (and thawed out) my 5yo and I searched the Merlin Bird app on my phone. Yes, there is a time for technology! When she played the call of the kingfisher, my 12yo called from the other room, “That was it!” We noticed, we know!
We are walking the nature talk. Won’t you walk with us?