Wednesday, April 28, 2010

kids in nature

our partner in the dance

nature can be the ballroom within which we dance,
the background music we can notice or not,
or, if we can learn how to further ourselves along,
nature can be our partner in the dance,
and we can share the leading and know when to switch,

I love to bring kids to the mountains,
get them out on trails,
get them quiet enough inside
to open
to hear, to see, to feel
the stories within rock & water,
flower & snail,
animal print & human wall,

I love to watch them at the creek
when impulse, connection, and opportunity lead them into play,
there is a pattern to the process they can follow:
they come from the boxes that hold us much of the time,
the right angles of our buildings,
the trap of all our stuff,
the cars and planes within which to cocoon on the way
to where the boxes are so much larger, with more doors out,
in their default position, there’s frantic activity
of snapping cellphones, digital screens,
the seduction of electronic and brain games, of cards and boards,
and they find the deep reassurance of not being alone,
and together filling toward the full,
then there can be a desperate boredom,
the spells reverse, and, if we’re lucky,
at that point creativity finds itself
to dance with the impulses
within a greening world full of older, tried-and-true spells,
the call of our oldest home which we need to revisit
to remember who we were so we can know who we are,
our feet still in nature while imagination lets us soar,

then the boxes call us back
till we are ready to find the way out again.

by Henry Walker
April 24, ’10

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