Thursday, 10 July 2014

Children Need Nature

A few times over the past couple years I have had the pleasure of spending time with my young grand children in wilderness settings. Sometimes for short walks around the community park in this little city or along river trails on the outskirts. This past weekend we were together for the whole weekend with plenty of room to run, play and explore. The boys got to ride a pony for the first time but other than that everything was unscheduled and unorganised but well supervised. Even the young teenagers managed to entertain themselves and enjoyed their time at the family reunion. The 2 year old boy has a fascination for bugs.
 Every bug on the trail has to be examined and there is no moving him until he is satisfied and ready to go on to the next one. Flowers have to be checked and smelled and every water puddle has to be splashed through. The boys rode small bikes or pushed a walk in car. They stomped, ran, walked, crawled and rolled in the grass. They smashed pinatas, learned to bat balls and met and shared toys with strange cousins.

Teeter totters, swings and slides were all rode. The 2 and 3 year old boys were thoroughly entertained in the safe, wide open space around the ranch. This was about as wild a space as these youngsters have had a chance to run in. They were different kids than they are when cooped up at home. There was no whining, fighting, arguing, fighting, tantrums or intolerable misbehaving all weekend. These were really good kids full of joy, wonder and wide eyed excitement the whole time. They were hungry when the real meal came. They were tired by bed time. They were a pleasure to watch and be around all weekend. I attribute this magical transformation to wide open spaces, wild variety, room to run, good food, new friends and cousins, natural enthusiasm and curiosity,  
The young ladies were very helpful in entertaining the boys and joining in with all the strange adult cousins they met for the first time. Even great grandma enjoyed herself surrounded by the family she built in a country setting that we all love. I find these times in the outdoors seem to draw the best from all of us. Everyone seems to be relaxed and more forgiving than when stressed out at jobs and busy homes, adults included. We all seem to need the fresh air, open space, quiet and darkness of wild places. There are more stars, bigger skies, taller clouds and wild flowers and of course mosquitoes. It can't all be perfect but is manageable with good dope.

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