Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Separate Peace

If, when we were young, we tramped through forests of Nebraska cottonwoods, or raised pigeons on a rooftop in Queens, or fished for Ozark bluegills, or felt the swell of a wave that traveled a thousand miles before lifting our boat, then we were bound to a natural world and remain so today. Nature still informs our years -- lifts us, carries us.

For children, nature comes in many forms . . . whatever shape nature takes it offers each child an older, larger world separate from parents. Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. . . . Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion. Nature can frighten a child, too, and this fright serves a purpose. In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy; a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.

~Richard Louv in Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder.

Were you in active relationship with Nature as a child? What form did it take? A pet, a woods, a view of the sea, a giant forsythia bush under which you crawled to play make-believe?

Are you in active relationship with Nature now? What form does it take? What form would you like for it to take?

Picture found here.

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