Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty
As we get older and lose the innocence of childhood, it's easy to forget the myriad of creatures and things to inspect on the ground that accompany the abundances of summer. Being preoccupied or in a hurry to cross things off our to-do lists certainly diminishes our chances to see the magic of the world through our children's eyes. But more importantly, our kids become part of our packed schedules and in the process miss out on experiences that were part of our own childhoods.
A child finds an ant zig-zagging wildly on a sidewalk a spectacle worthy of endless curious enchantment. And the ant hill and all of the activity around it?! Heaven! The weed that has somehow pushed its way up through the crack in the pavement? Now that's pretty remarkable if you stop to think about it, and even if it doesn't fill you with wonder at the
tenacity of it all, a toddler will give it an eager examination. A pebble that stands out from the rest of the pebbles on your walk may become a special treasure in that little hand, and don't be surprised if it ends up as a gift to you before the walk is over. The skinny little leaf of a lavender plant, crushed between your fingers to release its fragrant scent and
handed to your little one, is surely evidence of some grown-up magic. An earthworm slithering for cover to its home in the warm soil is mesmerizing to little ones. And if a leisurely stroll in the back yard or the park happens to turn up a delicate blue fragment of a recently vacated robin's egg, well, that might be the jackpot.
There is so much of nature's bounty for our children to see and experience in the summer. A purposely aimless half-hour stroll can take you and your youngster a whopping 30 feet down the path, but covering ground isn't the point. The point is finding time in our busy lives -- and forgetting about text messaging and talking on our cells for the time being -- to follow our little ones' leads and give them the freedom to dawdle, to really see the magic in a world that whirls around at such a pace that it's easy to forget there even is magic.