No sneakers, no shoes, no socks just bare feet on the ground. That is how the little boy explored the world. A breeze came from the south, the direction the little boy was facing. He giggled and blinked his eyes as the wind hit his face. He pointed up, and said “look!” It was more of a command to me then a statement. I looked up.
He looked back down and noticed to his right there was a dragon fly buzzing in the sky. He cautiously moved forward and said “look” pointing at the dragonfly. He looked at me and I said “oooohhhh” and he said “ooohhh.” I smiled and he smiled.
The crows started cawing loudly, as if they were shouting out a warning. He stopped, his eyes widened. He understood their language. He didn’t need words because he used all of his senses.
I knew a little girl, who is now all grown. Her mother said when she was three she got lost in the woods. When she was found the next day, she was okay. She had buried herself under leaves for the night.
I started my work as a Naturalist in a city. I was asked to teach camp counselors “nature activities.” I said okay and brought some friends. We decided on a few activities and brought materials to give to the counselors so they could teach the activities to their children. Most of the counselors were raised in urban environments. I asked them, “On a scale of 1-10, how connected do you feel to nature?” They answered with varying numbers on the low side. I told them, “Don’t you ever let anyone tell you, that you are not connected to nature. Everything you own, everything that you eat and everywhere that you go, is nature. The Earth’s gravity pulls you to the Earth, your planet.” Some of the counselors smiled.
We went out to the paved playground. The playground had some trees, and there were lots of leaves from the previous Fall on the ground. I asked everyone to pick up a leaf and get to know it. About 30 young adults studied their leaves. Then I took them. Some of them did not want to let go of their leaf. At a later point, I asked them to come get their leaves. Each young adult found their leaf without hesitation. It was acknowledged that nature was diverse and yet there were so many similarities. We continued the day studying each others tracks in the dirt, and then exploring other tracks and imagining what the story was behind each track.
I had decided to take some trees down on the land that I live on and sell them for lumber. It was a hard decision, but with the money, I hoped to build a shower house for the campground. I hired a man who was a forester and loved the trees. He taught me about trees and told me how he decided which trees to leave or take. The beautiful old trees that were healthy and strong were important to leave. They would produce good seed for future generations of trees.
There was one big cherry tree in the forest. It was long and straight and wide. I knew it could be valuable for lumber, but it was quite majestic. I asked my son to take a walk in the forest with me. I showed him the cherry tree and told him my dilemma, and asked him what he thought we should do. He said he didn’t know. I said shall we toss a coin. He called it, heads we leave the tree, tails we cut it down for lumber. The quarter landed heads up. My son had a huge smile on his face and exclaimed, “Yes!” That has become Theo’s cherry tree, and I will never cut it down as Theo reminded me of our Earth Connection.
May you stay connected to the Earth, our home.
With Peace and Gratitude,