I just celebrated my birthday last weekend. It was fantastic. We went to Kejimkujic National Park, in southern Nova Scotia and hiked 5 of their 10 short trails in one day. They were beautiful. Each one. No, I mean: each tree, each leaf, each rock, each stream, each river was beautiful. The fall season is by far my favorite. And every birthday I make it a point to get out for a hike.
I was like this as a kid with my birthdays too. I had a simple formatted request for every one: a walk in the woods and mom’s home-made dinner of fried-chicken, potato salad and pumpkin pie. She never failed at delivering this. I was so spoiled. Truly. How many millions of kids in North America get to go for a walk through the woods, and wander over old farmstead pastures for their birthday? Not many, I bet.
Some just don’t have that available to them. Too many are trapped by concrete.
This past week an article in the BBC news talked about the fact that many kids are too disconnected from nature. That they do not get enough exposure to it, and that there is a strange growing idea that nature is dirty and unpleasant. Stepping off the pavement is a strange and creepy thing to some kids. This is terrible. (“Just one in five children connected to nature, says study” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24532638)
So I write to encourage you and your family to get out for a hike. Get into the fields and woods and go explore! You can fear the dangers of scratches and bug-bites and tick-born illnesses, or you can fear being mugged and run over at a street-corner. But if you take the right precautions, none of these fears are legitimate.
Live a life with nature, and you will be happy. Live a life without nature, and you have not lived.