Nature Walk – Looking for Spring

One goal I have for this year is to be more purposeful in making nature walks a weekly event in our home. My children are outside at every opportunity so there is no concern of lack of exercise or fresh air. However, taking a walk or enjoying the outdoors for the purpose of focusing on nature, on God’s creation, has not been a priority. So this year I shared that goal with my children and they are helping me to stay accountable.

We live in the south and have been hit this winter with a bit more snow than is normal for us to see. Day after day of freezing temperatures, inch after inch of snow and ice, and then rain. And a bit more rain.

Even though we aren’t exactly equipped with proper snow clothing, we layered up and enjoyed the beautiful white, fluffy precipitation. Well, the children enjoyed the snow. I stayed inside cuddling a sick little one and dealing with all the extra changes of clothing.

But, at last! The sun came out and the temperatures went above freezing and the snow began to melt! We were so excited to see….mud. Lots and lots of mud because after the snow we have had a fair share of rain.

Mud is no problem. While taking a walk in six or so inches of snow was not feasible for us, we could handle walking in a bit of mud. We enjoyed a glorious day of sunshine and went on a hunt for signs of spring. We searched high. We searched low. Other than a few daffodils sharing a bit of green, there were not too many signs of spring.

We do not despair. Spring is coming. New life will arrive soon. The sun will shine. Flowers will bloom. We will delight in it. There is beauty in all seasons. We will walk again and perhaps find a bit more of spring.

 

In the Rain

I checked my calendar. Not for a forgotten appointment or to confirm a play date. I checked my calendar because I was a bit concerned that today was Monday. I’ve a had a few of them this week. I’m sure you have a had a week such as this, right?

I thought it might be a Monday because I overslept, we were out of toilet paper, the baby required three diaper changes in the span of about fifteen minutes, and my two-year old wanted confirmation that we truly do have a no whining policy in the house.

I did the only thing this mom of nine could do; I pulled the “I’m taking a shower NOW card.” Thankfully my two oldest were up (thank you wonderful, precious Mary for already having breakfast underway) and my husband was working from home a few hours this morning. I had a really nice shower. Go, mom.

Now that I could function, I headed out to the store with an adorable four year old stowaway. Excellent way to kick an imposter Monday to the curb. Cute four year olds who love to talk are outstanding. I did find out that, sadly, Sam does not have xray vision. Bummer. I was counting on that for room checks later.  As we chatted on the way home I knew exactly what I needed. A nature walk. If experience proves right, a nature walk is what we all needed.

I grabbed a quick breakfast (I will not even tell you what time it was at this point) and told everyone to get shoes on. We were going on a walk. You might have heard the cheers of “no math!!!” and the mighty thundering of little feet.

We took the long way to the park. And just a few feet down the road I felt a drop. Then another. The rain that I had hoped would not come quite yet was coming. To the delight of my children, I ignored it.

Some days demand a walk in the rain. Playing at the park in the rain. Giggling with sisters in the rain. Digging up rocks in the rain. Oh, yes, we did. The rain came and went. We got a bit wet. We also got fresh air and a cool breeze. We got to savor God’s glorious and beautiful creation in all its fall wonder. Oh, the colors!! Amazing artistry He has given us!

It was a Monday no more. The days can get so crazy. The to do list quickly gets long. The daily tasks can seem so tedious. Sometimes you just have to put on your shoes and walk in the rain. Delight in every drop.

Birds and Grasshoppers

Fresh air. Sunshine. Cool breeze. I am trying to be more diligent at making sure the children have plenty of time outdoors. I can easily get wrapped up in checking off the list and push the great outdoors to the bottom of the list.

Kids need to run, climb, and skip. Exploring, imaging, creating outside is a beautiful and important job for kiddos. Enjoying creation helps them appreciate the awesomeness of our Creator.

We have enjoyed catching grasshoppers. Ok, they enjoyed it. There are still aspects of nature I appreciate from a distant. Bugs is one of those aspects. However, my little ones were enchanted with this gentle grasshopper that willingly sat in their hands. Mr. Grasshopper seemed to be in the mood for a bit of conversation.

Another afternoon, birds, really cute birds, made a nest in my front yard. It was fun to watch them work together and play together. I love seeing Hannah take a leadership role and helping the younger ones out. The birdies slept, ate, and had a bit of exercise.

So a reminder to you and to me….step outside. Take a deep breath. Take a walk with the kiddos. Join in with jumping rope. (They will love it and they will laugh. They will be amazed at your jumping skills.) Jump in a pile of leaves. Watch a snail parade. (Warning: it is a slow procession.) Let them run in the rain and if you dare, join in.