Remember a few weeks ago when I had a post all written up about gratitude and nature and then Fire Fox decided to quit on me and I lost everything? Well, I finally got around to rewriting it!
The sun on my face. The sound of the river trickling over rocks. The smell of leaves, dirt and fresh air. To quote Incubus – In this moment, I am happy.
I sit on a large rock, in the middle of a river, basking in the early September sunshine. I feel a huge sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the beauty that surrounds me but more importantly that I get to see this. I started to think about how many people will never have this opportunity. How many people have never stopped to appreciate the beauty that is nature.
As Ron and the kids pile rocks on top of rocks to make a small dam, I start to wonder how many children will never get to see this? Are my kids’ the lucky ones who do? I’m not talking about global warming and how “the wild” is no longer becoming the wild – that’s an entirely different subject. I’m talking about kids who never experience nature because their parents don’t take them out in it or because they are too wrapped up in technology. How many of their classmates have had experiences like this?
Growing up, my family spent a lot of time outside. My parents made it a point to show us experiences in nature. It was common place for us to be in the woods or at a lake during any season throughout the year. Our family trips mostly involved camping. We even spent a whole summer driving across the northern U.S., through Canada and into Alaska. I still remember details from that trip like it was yesterday even though it was almost 30 years ago. At times I hated our family trips. Why couldn’t we be like all my friends who vacationed at fancy resorts? Now I look back and am so thankful for those experiences. I’ve seen some things in nature that others never will.
I will be the first one to admit that I love my technology. As sad as it is to say this, my phone is glued to my hand most of the time. Spending time outside and ultimately going to a place where there is no cell service, makes it easier to remove all the technology that dominates my life. We think we are staying connected by staring at screens, when in reality, we are more disconnected than ever. When I get out there, it’s the perfect time to be present, to breathe and to observe the beauty that is all around. No filter needed. Although I do like to enhance my Insta pics just a bit.
After spending the day splashing in the water and exploring the trails, we make the drive back home. Both of my kids are drunk on sunshine and fresh air. They chatter about building a dam, swimming, catching a frog and all the other adventures from the day. Then my son says, “This was the best day ever. Thank you Mama and Daddy.”
Further proof that it’s experiences, not material things, that kids will remember for a lifetime.