Friday, November 4, 2016

Looking to Nature for Fulfillment

E showing O a plant while she piggy-backed it on our adventures.
Iz squishing mud and looking for prints along a lake.

We always always always bring carriers for them both so we can continue our adventures even when things get tricky.

Elk scat! And later goose and raccoon too. This gal loves trying to track animals and was pretty excited about her finds.

Comparing at the local World Bird Sanctuary. Just about there!

Iz's favoritte resident a the bird sanctuary. This bald eagle gal had an injury to her left leg that didn't heal properly at another sanctuary so she can't fully support herself on it. Iz was very entranced by her.
A huge part of our recent move was to allow for us to spend more time in nature. We were actually a bit of a wild card as we flip flopped between going more rural and being close to friends and conveniences and ultimately decided on the closeness and community, but keeping in mind the proximity to some of our favorite nature areas and trails. It's important to us to teach our daughters to look toward nature for entertainment and fulfillment and in order to do so we've committed to getting out together as often as we can.

Some adventures are easier than others and at these ages of four and one and a half there are unique challenges, but there is nothing like setting them free to lead the way and explore in whichever way feels right to them and by pushing through those challenges rather than avoiding them, I hope we are teaching them that they can do hard things and that it's always worth the effort while nurturing an appreciation and love for nature. And on my end? I can deal with discontent out on the trails better than I can in the living room just about any day and I never once look back and wish we would have just stayed home and nothing clears my head and grounds me back down more than simply being outside.

Even with all of the hubbub of moving and settling in we have gotten out way more often now simply because we now can. Now we can find a place to explore and just be gone a few hours rather than each and every trip having to be a full day adventure. We like those too, and look forward to plenty of them, but with where we are at right now, this is exactly what we need and we look forward to moving forward while honoring our commitment to our family to get out every weekend we possibly can and every day the girls and I possibly can throughout the week.

There's nothing that makes me feel more connected with my people and with myself than breathing deep and easy in wide open spaces. It makes all of the effort we are putting forth feel worth it. Nothing we could ever buy them could compete with the look on Iz's face as she tracks elk tracks and scat and later sees them atop a hill. Nothing competes with her and I throwing leaves in water and racing across a bridge to watch them come out the other side. Nothing competes with watching O take in all of the different textures and sights for the first time or seeing them splashing in huge puddles with smiles on their faces. Nothing. Not anything. This is what we need most.

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