I’ve been a lover of the outdoors ever since I could walk. As a little girl, I would come home with bugs in my pockets and dirt under my fingernails, exhausted from a day of playing outdoors. I remember feeling courageous, curious and creative.
As a parent I long for my son to have the same desire for unstructured playtime and the love of the outdoors as I did. To connect with nature, to experience the patterns in nature that will be lessons for patterns in his life. Something intuitively is telling me my son is following in my footsteps.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
Yesterday, (May 14, 2015) Naropa University announced the creation of the Joanna Macy Center. Macy is a well-known scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. She is an author, an environmental, peace and social justice advocate and I had the privilege of being a student in one of her intensive programs during my graduate studies.
Her teachings came back to me this week at a cellular level when my son Daniel and I were planting our urban garden. As we were planting, we talked about what seeds need to grow and develop into healthy plants, what will happen once the plants grow out of the ground and then once we harvest them what type of healthy foods we will make.
“Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.”
I remember Macy teaching us “Everything we do impinges on all beings. The way you are with your child is a political act, and the products you buy and your efforts to recycle are part of it too. “ “Saving life on this planet includes developing a strong, caring connection with future generations…”
Nothing hits home like this until you become a parent and when you do, the message drives itself into you at a microcosmic level.
Inviting Daniel to participate in planting the garden reminded me of the importance of connecting with my child and how the outdoors is a free and extended classroom and the joy that comes from being in nature together.
“There may be no better way to ensure the well-being of the natural world tomorrow than to introduce children to as many small wonders today.”
Todd Christopher – National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour
This time with my son brought me back to my own childhood and the joy I felt playing in the dirt feeling courageous, curious and creative. Somewhere between the dirt, compost seeds and water I had a feeling he felt the same.