The Gift of Taking Time to Get Outside and Play

Some of my most treasured memories are those that involve getting dirty, getting wet and getting intimate with the outdoors as a child.

I can still remember summer days spent splashing in a creek while my dad fished crawdads out from the murky, twig-strewn water and let me see the creatures up close and personal. I can remember my parents taking me by the hand and spending hours walking the paths that encircled a lake near my childhood home, stopping to feed the geese and marveling at all the leaves and greenery around.
I can remember my father finding animal tracks made in the mud around our garage and pointing out whether it was a raccoon or a skunk. I can remember digging through piles of gravel in our side yard, on the quest for uncovering fossils that I kept safe in an old tackle box my father handed over to me when he spotted in me a budding archeologist.

These memories were simple gestures that my parents fostered in me during my earliest of years. They were nothing extravagant, and yet they meant the world to me, and still do. Those days spent losing time in the outdoors gave me an appreciation for the world around me that can’t be found just by seeing pictures of the natural wonders on a computer screen or watching a documentary on the television.

No, the soil that sifted through my fingertips and the treasures I discovered with my own hands brought this world of wonder to life for me in a way that still shines bright for me today: With my windows thrown open, I listen to the crickets and the cardinals chirping outside, a melody that Mother Nature orchestrates daily. When I’m feeling stressed, I lace up my sneakers and take a stroll through a leafy part of my neighborhood, where the sights and sounds are a balm to my soul. When I want to truly connect with someone, whether it’s my spouse or a friend from years past, I invite them to take a walk or a picnic on an open, grassy plain where words can flow just as the wind blows ‘round.

All this stems from those early days lost in nature’s reverie, a gift that my parents gave to me as a young girl as they encouraged me to get outside and get lost in the beauty of this world. It’s that same gift that I hope to pass along to Claire, starting even now, as I take her outside to let her play (sometimes multiple times a day) and let her discover and adventure and dream in the great outdoors.

1 comment:

  1. I have similar memories of my childhood. So much time spent outdoors, traipsing in the woods and exploring. Using my imagination to make up games...being outside were certainly some of the best days as a kid! I hope we're blessed someday (soon) with a home where our son can grow up with the ability to do the same.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Next Post Previous Post
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...