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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What do you do?

What do you do when you drive by a field of wildflowers?

Why, you stop the car, reverse, and go pick them of course :).

What do you do when you find tadpoles?

Why, you get a tank, go to the nearest lake and create a habitat to watch them grow, of course!

What do you do when, while making that habitat, you spot an alligator who finds you curious, and starts swimming closer to you?

And closer?????

Why, you calmly tell your daughter that yes, alligators are very cool, but that you think we have enough water for the tadpoles now :)!!!

What do you do when you go to the zoo the same day, and you see this beautiful creature?

I fill with mixed emotions, in awe of being so close to such a magnificent creature, but heavy with sadness, for the life he has not led.  I wonder what it would be like to be in a cage all day-- beautiful, trapped, well-cared for, but not free.  Then I say a little prayer for him, and go on with my time with M..  I look at her and am grateful for the life we can give her and her brother, to be able to be free, happy, and roam in nature, just as it was intended to be.

What do you do to remember how free you really are? Do you feel free?


  1. Awesome post! It really makes me look forward to when my little girls are a little older, when we can do some exploring together.

    I do feel free! And that feeling has come as a result of making some very different choices than most people. I remember this freedom everyday when I look at my babies faces when we're having an afternoon snack together and I think about how I made the right choice for our family to stay at home with them instead of going back to work.

  2. Oh, glorious freedom! Love this post and LOVE that header-so stinkin' cute! :)

  3. lovely.

    So important to stop and smell the flowers. Not sure I would have been quite so cool and calm about the alligator situation though...!!

    Being free for me means either being at the beach or on the moors - wide open wild spaces where nature is all around and completely filling you up. equally, being free can mean being at home creating, making messy art or reading, immersing myself (with or without the children) in a story - the freedom to read all afternoon long if the mood takes is one of my greatest pleasures and treasures.
    What does make me laugh is when I meet former work mates/fellow parents who work and they ask with a slightly horrified look "But what do you DO all day ?" - they just don't seem to get that we have the freedom to do exactly what we want all day, every day, so mostly we spend our time revelling in that freedom.

  4. We collected tadpoles and 'grew' little frogs, it was a lot of fun!
    I have alligators that sometimes make it to my yard, not a lot of fun.
    Don't you just love wild flowers? I think they are the best.

  5. What a lovely post...when it warms up - I'm sure Scout can't wait until the frogs start making babies...

  6. What a great post,looks like a beautiful place to explore. I have wonderful memories of tadpoles from my childhood,watching them turn to frogs was like magic!

  7. Oh, I hate zoos. I love seeing the animals but I am so sensitive to them not living in their natural environment...being able to run or spread their wings. Brad reminds me that seeing them as "ambassadors" for their wild brothers and sisters is helpful. In places like San Diego zoo they really do educate people to respect the environment by learning about the animals at the zoo. We can teach our kids to respect the planet when we visit zoos so that more animals can live wild.

  8. Deep post... the whole free topic. Going to work each day.. doesn't feel very free. I feel the most free when I am 3 hours deep in the woods with my husband and dog as we let the the rest of the world melt away.

  9. Beautiful post MJ! The flowers and tadpoles are so cool! Amazing to see an alligator...you have some lucky kids!

  10. Fantastic post, beautiful flowers! I remember seeing those 'gators on the UF campus. I get the same feeling when I go to zoos and "nature" centers. I feel lucky to learn and see the animals, but sad that they aren't free.

  11. I also feel mixed emotions about zoos, we've been sworn off of circuses for ages, but zoos are a more tricky one...

    On a lighter note:Lovely frogs and flowers!!!!

  12. Those wildflowers are incredible! The more I read your blog, the more I'm convinced that we're going to have unschool :)

    Stopping to enjoy the beauty around us without being controlled by a clock really is freeing, and priceless! Thanks for another beautiful post.

  13. You are really a wonderful story-teller, MJ! And I am left rather speechless, feeling so sad for every single creature who is/feels caged. That cat breaks my heart. But I feel thankful too, and so happy for the freedom to meet countless other members of my own species, to walk and roam as far as my legs will take me, to live in an environment that feels natural and nourishing. As always, thank you for sharing a piece of your life.

  14. Beautiful photos and words. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more.

  15. Such a beautiful post -- fills me with a sense of peace.

    Though I too do not enjoy visiting zoos, haven't for years... I feel sad there.

    What do I do to remember I'm free... I breathe! And remember my belly. :)



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