“We depend on nature not only for our physical survival. We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our minds. We got lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating – lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems.
We have forgotten what rocks, plants and animals still know. We have forgotten how to be – to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: here and now.”
This quote reminded me that it is mid winter and everyone in my family is missing our outside time. When it is not raining and dark by 4:30 pm, it has been bitterly cold, clear, but with poor air quality warnings issued in Portland. Not making excuses, just saying, it has been less then ideal for outside play. We did make a short expedition into the Columbia River Gorge to see frozen waterfalls a couple weekends ago. We ate icicles, slid on frozen trails, and at my 3 year old’s insistence, we set up our “picnic” on a picnic table at the bottom of a waterfall, where icy mist blew over us, ensuring a very short meal outside. The kids have been talking about this half day trip ever since.
Which brings me back to my point, which is, how important it is for kids and grown ups to be in nature, to get grounded, stay in touch with what is real and in the moment. So this week, challenge yourself to spend a few minutes outside taking in nature (preferably with your kids). It could be watching squirrels and birds in a tree, looking for the moon and planet Jupiter in the sky before bed, or searching for spring bulbs poking up through the mud/snow in your yard. Just take a minute to slow down and reconnect! And before we know it, spring will be here in full force!