Kids honor the Earth every day. They see wonder in a ladybug landing on their arm, in a cool rock they find on a path, in the surprise freezing rain that pelted our Southern Californian lawn yesterday.
Maybe it's because they're closer to ground-level so they spot what we'd just walk past. Plus, they don't have a thousand things competing for space in our thoughts, like what to make for dinner, or whether you remembered to move the wash into the dryer, or if you can make the mortgage this month.
They are free from worry. As they should be. They're children.
Sawyer asked last week if we could go on a nature walk. And since we're lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of trails and regional parks, it was easy to do. This weekend we drove about five minutes to a trail head.
He brought a bunch of paper stapled together he called his Nature Book. We climbed a narrow, single-track path up and around a hill. We stopped to listen to the hiss of the wind through the tall grass, which Sawyer pronounced "creepy."
We saw a big black beetle right before we got to our first stop, a bench with a view.
Sawyer got to work.
Nice view, huh?
Perfect for inspiration..
Then we were off to hike to the pond - but not before a hiker and a couple guys on mountain bikes mentioned that they'd just seen a rattlesnake. Of course that's all I needed to hear. I shrieked whenever the kids got too close to the sides of the path where the grass is thick and high and perfect for a snake to lurk. I insisted they walk right down the middle. I kept my eyes peeled for any suspicious looking "sticks."
We finally made it to the pond, where there were so many tiny baby frogs hopping around I was petrified I was going to squish one - and I have to say, frog may be the only thing I haven't stepped on since having kids. I didn't want to start now.
Sawyer, like any boy worthy of the name, caught a frog and had such a thrill holding it (sorry, no pictures, something about having to keep a 13 month-old out of the green water). And then his sister spotted an orange caterpillar on the hike back, and that was about as exciting as it could get.
It was a great reminder that sometimes, it's the little things that make us the happiest - and you never know what's going to be under the next leaf, if you just take the time to look.
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