“A pleasant walk most often veritably teems with imageries, living poems, attractive objects, natural beauties, be they ever so small. The lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker, who must of course walk not with downcast but with open and unclouded eyes.”
–Robert Walser, The Walk
We recently visited family and one of my uncles took the kids to find a path behind the house that led to a stream. Unfortunately the path was no longer accessible and they headed back. A little while later my kids asked to go back to explore some more. Some of the adults wondered why and commented that there wasn’t much to see. My kids knew better though.
To them this forgotten area of overgrown “weeds” was a place of wonder and magic, a source for feeding the imagination and sparking curiosity. They saw fairy sized flowers, plants that warned you of danger and a plant that surely came from some exotic & far-off place, leaves that held sparkling jewels, and balloon-like flowers with crazy dos that are something Alice would have seen in Wonderland. They were so intrigued with the unfamiliar plant life and excited to recognize the familiar ones.
We didn’t go far and didn’t stay long but it was none the less a rich and stimulating experience.
When you are out for a walk with your children, engage your senses, point things out, ask “I wonder” and other open-ended questions, make connections to things your children are familiar with by making “this reminds me of…” statements. You’ll be nurturing their curiosity, skills of observation, and love of nature. You’ll also experience some wonderful quality time spent together.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”