"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Monday, February 28, 2011

"Let nature be your teacher." ~ William Wordsworth

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway :)...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Joining Sherry for Nature Connections....

We see something new every time we go for our nature walks, usually a new kind of bird, flower or bug. How fortunate we are to have such diversity and beauty surrounding us. But as I sit here writing about these times, I am fully aware of the responsibilities that my children will inherit from us one day.  I have shadows behind my joyful love for nature.  Shadows that carry fear, sadness, graveness, and urgency.  I thought better, perhaps, that images rather than words may serve better to show you my shadows ...

Here and here.  (Thanks mb for that post.) 

Honestly, I don't say much about these happenings to my children.  I don't try to scare them or preach to them about global warming, pollution, etc.  I do ask myself if I should do more to help bring awareness to my children about what is happening to our planet.  Yet as their own connection with nature grows, I notice their own awareness grows.  They see it for themselves when we go on our walks.  The bottles in the lake, the plastic bags floating in the breeze, someone's leftover fast food sitting in the middle of the parking lot. 

The other day I panicked a bit while waiting for my son to finish his running club as I noticed my daughter was missing.  I turned to look for her and she was off in the distance running from one place to another.  As I stood there watching her, I realized what she was doing.  She was picking up trash that lay scattered outside the running track near the middle school.  I just watched her until I finally called to her to tell her we were leaving.  Her answer to me was "Just one more piece over there Mom!".  I realize, as with anything, they are learning for themselves what needs to be done.


  1. Beautiful words, MJ, and so true. Children need to discover a love of nature to truly respect it. Looks like your children are doing just that!
    Love the picture taken from the grass looking up to the tree!

  2. I have a thing for trees and pictures of trees, and those trees are gorgeous!! Love it. My eldest wants to pick up trash too and "make the earth happy." Either he thought of it or heard it on a cartoon, maybe. :) Oh, and he wanted to find some "other Moms who don't mind getting dirty" so he could pick up trash with their kids. LOL I love their willingness to help. I've been meaning to put garbage bags in our van...

  3. Beautiful pictures and beautiful words. You have a life full of wonder!

  4. Stunning photos. I am in love with those trees! Your message is so important, too, both about good stewardship of the earth and about learning for oneself. I too often forget the latter of these two. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Lovely spring...I haven't seen that much Spanish moss since we lived in FL...

  6. yes yes yes. i agree, i don't want to cast shadows on my kiddo when i "expose" him to the problems our world faces. as you saw, in my post he was surrounded by the plastic, and then before i knew it we had walked up to a bird who had died as a consequence (ok i didn't do a necropsy but...) and... i didn't really say a word, other than answering his questions. he put it all together himself. preaching not necessary. :) he too, runs around picking up garbage. it's the number one reason i have to have a good grip on his hand in a parking lot- so he doesn't run after a stray plastic bag. while i don't believe in bombarding him with the burden of it all, it seems they can't help but notice what is really going on, and as children they don't seem to become as bogged down by the responsibility of it, and seem more able to just charge ahead and pick up garbage... love your beautiful photography.

  7. Beautiful! I do miss some of that FL landscape.
    Why do people put leave their trash everywhere? The fast food leavings in the middle of the parking lot are ubiquitous. Thanks for a wondeful post!

  8. Wow, those trees are amazing. When we briefly visited Florida a few years ago, I couldn't get over how green everything was and the amount of water! Was a great trip, too short though!
    Children at times, seem to learn by some sort of osmosis. Makes your heart sing doesn't it when they do something so mindful. My girls get really cross when they see things dropped on shop floors or rubbish laying around outdoors. Makes me proud! Although the state of their room is another thing!! Jacinta

  9. I love these trees ;)
    Funny we were just watching a bit of Wall-E this morning and I tried to 'teach' my 3 year old how important the planet is. It's early I know!
    I wish I was in your florida heat just for a moment right now ;(

  10. And nature really is the best teacher. What a sweet thing to find your little one picking up trash, to see them caring. That is really special.

  11. beautiful images and beautiful thought-filled words. Love that picture of the yellow flower, it really fills the screen with colour.

    I agree, I think that at this stage/age, filling the children with an appreciation for, and a reverence for nature is all that we need to do, and by imitation and through their love for nature, they will in time learn what needs to be done to care for the planet. So, we recycle etc and we have the children involved in that, but we don't go into massive explanations, it's just "what we do in our family".

    It used to really bug my last year that my son's teacher would fill their heads full of nature/disasters - he came home in tears one day because she'd told them all the trees were being chopped down and we'd all die through lack of oxygen (well, I assume she didn't but that was the message he took - he was petrified, especially when our neighbour started trimming his hedge a few weeks later). Another time she showed them very graphic footage and photos of the Haiti earthquake, which gave him nightmares for weeks - I know they can't exist in a bubble forever, but really, it was all far too much for a bunch of 6 year olds!
    Loved the story of your daughter picking up the litter, though, that's a perfect example of this point,

  12. Our girl watched me pick up plastic bottles just the other day. I gently told her it was rubbish and I was cleaning up (like in Dora, chuckle). By example they will learn for themselves.

    GORGEOUS tree!

  13. I think about this topic soooooooooooooooo much. It is worrisome. Yesterday we were at a park and they wanted to pick up a cigarette box and broken glass bottle to clean up. I felt myself hesitating to have them touch things like that, and struggle in how to let them follow their instincts to clean up our environment. Maybe I should pack some gardening gloves in the car so when the mood strikes we are prepared for clean up.


  14. I agree, it is troubling, but like you said, being a part of nature will guide them in the right direction, by taking care of nature.

    Your photos are beautiful! You have a great eye!


  15. How conscientious of your daughter. You must have been really proud.

    Great pictures. I'm amazed at how some parts of the US is still shrouded in snow while others it's short and tee shirt weather. England just seems cold, murky and damp! x

  16. "...they are learning for themselves what needs to be done."

    Beautiful post, MJ! Thanks for linking. :)

  17. great photos! i too think we have little to teach other than to let them BE in nature as much as possible. we have always loved being outside, but reading the unlikely combination of charlotte mason (19th c educational writer who believed that children needed to be outside at least 6 hours a day whatever the weather) and _The Last Child in the Woods_ reaffirmed the importance. And I have one kid especially who THRIVES outside. He is much more calm and happy when he is in the woods or at the beach.


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw