Being in Nature

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Welcome to the Earth Day Blog Carnival

This post is part of the 2012 Earth Day Blog Carnival hosted by Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction. Each participant has shared their practices and insights of earth friendly, environmentally conscious, eco-living. This carnival is our way to share positive information and inspiration that can create healing for our planet. Please read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Happy Earth Day!

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I love being outside.

I love nature walks, and Walden Pond, and state parks.  But those are special days. Those are the icing.

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
~e.e. cummings

My love for nature came from the ordinary days. From being a kid and climbing trees with my siblings, poking a stick into a muddy stream, and releasing milkweed seeds into the sky. From camping as a family, gardening in our yard, throwing rocks into a pond.

From just being in nature.

Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me, who could ask for more?
~“Mountain Gardening” by Bev Adams

This love, this appreciation, is what I wish to share with my daughter.

Except “share my love of nature” is not a “to do” task like “pick up OJ” or even “teach Pip to use the potty.”  Being in nature is a pleasure that, if ignored, makes me cranky.  It’s an intimate, mysterious need that compels me to be outside.

It’s gravity.

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself .
~ Henry Miller

And so I go, out on my deck. I smile at the sun, and watch the leaves wink at me.  Strapped to me, or walking on her own, Pip, of course, comes with me. I whisper “birdies” to her when they sing. I explain, “wind,” as it swirls around our head, and gasp, “rain,” as it kisses our skin. Otherwise I am quiet, and still, a servant to nature, a hollow cup filling with its warmth.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
~ Rachel Carson

And I know, these moments, genuflecting, noticing, they will resonate with my daughter.  Like the flyaway milkweed seeds that tangle in your hair and cling to prickly bushes, they eventually will sink, unnoticed, into the earth, before they eventually, inevitably, bloom.

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


Thank you for stopping by the 2012 Earth Day Blog Carnival! Please relax and take time to read these other great eco-living posts:
Earth Day Blog Carnival - Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction

  • You are a Child of the Earth – Using the Earth as their classroom, Patti from Canadian Unschool teaches her 4 children their spiritual connection to the Earth and she accepts that loving the Earth can get really, really messy.
  • Cutting Out Paper – Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went from curiosity and concern to actually cutting out the use of paper towels in her household. She is proud to be “greener” as each Earth Day passes.
  • The World is Brown – Debra Ann Elliot of Words are Timeless believes in keeping the Earth green, but because so many people inhabit the Earth it is turning brown because people aren’t doing their part by reducing, reusing, and recycling.
  • 7 Child And Eco Friendly Activities To Honor The Earth (Plus Some Environmental Books For Kids) – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her favorite books that help children become more aware of the importance of respecting and caring for Mother Earth. In addition, she hosts a guest post outlining seven child and eco friendly activities to honor the earth.
  • 5 Ways We Teach Our Children To Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – Valarie at Momma In Progress shares a few tips for encouraging young children to care for the earth.
  • Little Changes – Big Results – Meegs at A New Day talks about how sometimes it’s the little decisions and changes that can lead us to find big results, and how she’s baby-stepping her way to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
  • Inspiring the Next Generation – aNonyMous at at Radical Ramblings hopes to inspire her daughter to live a green and sustainable lifestyle, in the same way she was inspired by her high-school science teacher, and talks about the changes her family are making towards this vision.
  • Eco-Friendly Cleansers: Safe For the Environment, Healthy For Every Body – Rebekah at Liberated Family writes about safe and natural alternatives to toxic, household cleaning products..
  • Lightening My Footprint with Cloth Nappies (Diapers) – Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares the biggest eco-choice she has made so far, and why she is so passionate about it.
  • Clutter Free for a Cause – At Living Peacefully with Children Mandy’s penchant for decluttering and simple living cuts down on consumerism, taking less of a tole on the Earth.
  • Eco-Parenting: Homemade Bug Spray – Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares a homemade bug spray recipe that helps her family to enjoy the natural world while taking precautions against bug bites.
  • Let the Scales Fall From My Eyes…Just Not Too Quickly – Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about the discomfort of no longer being able to live in denial over how her choices affect the world around her.
  • Fostering Love of Earth – Justine at The Lone Home Ranger instills a love of nature in her daughters by embarking on their first backyard vegetable garden together.
  • Being in Nature – Carrie at Love Notes Mama knows that just being in nature is more than enough.
  • 5 Ways to Pass Down Environmental Values to Your Children – Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares how easy it can be to instill environmental values in your children.
  • Viva Portlandia – Amy at Anktangle writes about the place she lives and loves in: Portland. She describes the ways this green city makes it easy for her family to take care of our earth, and also the steps she’s taking to further lessen her family’s environmental impact.
  • Conspicuous Conservationism – Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction examines the phenomenon of eco-conscious behavior as a status symbol.
  • Time for Radical Sustainability – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle ponders how she can model a truly sustainable lifestyle for her children and raise them in a way that their environmental consciousness is as natural as breathing!

A big thank you to all of the 2012 Earth Day Blog Carnival participants!

About lovenotesmama

A love-struck mama, noting my journey into mindful parenting
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24 Responses to Being in Nature

  1. Pingback: 5 Ways to Pass Down Environmental Values to Your Children

  2. Pingback: Conspicuous Conservationism | Monkey Butt Junction

  3. Pingback: Clutter Free for a Cause « living peacefully with children

  4. Pingback: Hybrid Rasta Mama: 7 Child And Eco Friendly Activities To Honor The Earth (Plus Some Environmental Books For Kids)

  5. Gorgeous! I think this is my favourite post so far – I want to take those quotes and paint them on the wall! That is exactly what I want for my daughter – so beautifully expressed. Thank you for sharing such joy…

  6. Pingback: Eco-Friendly Cleansers: Safe For the Environment, Healthy For Every Body « Liberated Family

  7. Beautiful. I agree that it takes a dedicated effort to bring our children into nature and then just let them soak it in. I believe that my children were born with a natural spiritual connection the Earth–it is my job to not get in the way and spoil it.

  8. Wow! Now that was a gorgeous post! I love your comment that: “Being in nature is a pleasure that, if ignored, makes me cranky. It’s an intimate, mysterious need that compels me to be outside.” Thank you! If you watch children, you will see that they almost all possess this mysterious drive that pulls them to commune with nature. Somehow we loose this slowly and it is so important, as parents, to cultivate this bond with nature and reconnect ourselves. This post is very inspiring!

  9. Pingback: Inspiring the Next Generation | Radical Ramblings

  10. meegs1982 says:

    Lovely. After spending my days stuck in front of a computer, getting outside and just being in nature is such a balm. I love how much Gwen loves it too. She’s always finding something new that nature offers her to be excited about.

  11. anktangle says:

    Beautifully written! What a valuable gift you’re giving your kiddo by welcoming such freedom of exploration and enjoyment in nature!

  12. What a breath of fresh air your post is in itself. Loved reading it, thanks for sharing.

  13. Beautiful post! I love the quotations you chose too! We are also big fans of Walden Pond ;-)

  14. I love this post, and especially this paragraph:
    “My love for nature came from the ordinary days. From being a kid and climbing trees with my siblings, poking a stick into a muddy stream, and releasing milkweed seeds into the sky. From camping as a family, gardening in our yard, throwing rocks into a pond.”

    That conjures such a warm and powerful image, both of my own childhood and that of my children’s. Such a great post and a lovely blog! It’s nice to discover another “local” natural parenting mama!

  15. Pingback: Earth Day 2012 – Time for Radical Sustainability | Child of the Nature Isle

  16. Pingback: 7 Child And Eco Friendly Activities To Honor The Earth (Plus Some Environmental Books For Kids) Hybrid Rasta Mama

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