Sunday, May 30, 2010

back to nature

re-opening the doors

he says to me:
“As we get older nature means more to us than to them. . .”
and he looks at my 16 middle schoolers,

I know what he’s saying and the piece of truth within it--
that we can forget for a time our first years
and the tie we could have then
to plant and animal, ocean and mountain,
the treasure of an acorn cap, a chrysalis opening,
each new dawn, each new day,

part of our growing-up is we mold ourselves to fit into boxes:
home, school, friend, and culture shape us to fit them,

these young people today deny lethargy

and throw themselves 4 miles up a steep valley
until a way opens to a grand waterfall cascading before us,

hearts and minds overflow with wonder,
the effort and sweat felt then to be a fine price to pay
for another re-opening into their bond with nature:
snails catch the fancy of one student,
shelf-fungus another,
the conch-shell like blossom of laurel another,

the doors may seem to disappear to our eyes for awhile,
yet they’re still there and we can find them again
and find again the nature joy
that the pre-schooler knows so well.

by Henry Walker
May 25, ’10

1 comment:

rwallach said...

Henry, I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit for your role in the relationship between your students and nature. I have always seen one of your gifts as helping young people recognize their own particular connection to the natural world, and feel that they have something truly special there, and then carry that with them always. I know you had that effect on me.