Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indian summer hikes with tikes! Reflections on: ancient rocks, courageous saplings and changing seasons.

Do you think you can? ...
Take a walk? Climb a rock? Hug a tree? And yes, take a pee (off the trail)? When nature calls are you listening?? Do you respond with a drive to, and then hike in, your local nature preserves or wildlife refuges?

Apparently doctors are beginning to recommend a simple hike in nature as a bit of panacea for the ailing and depressed. See Shannon Baer's 'Backyard Mama' blogsite and the Washington Post article she links to, for a very interesting take on the healing power of nature.

Personally, I think we all know that 'a hike a weekend' would do wonders for our psyche. Hiking within our inner-self, and in our great big world, as well as with others proves that our interconnectedness is clear. The examples are everywhere: fallen leaves- greying hair; determined saplings - determined boys; toppling walls and useless boundaries (efforts gone a rye, yet still appreciated-the long dead farmers who set their pasteur boundaries, and the hundred years of moss and mold living off their walls). I appreciate every hollowed and rotted snag for the old trees are homes to insects, birds, squirrels and more. Indeed, we are all connected in the cycles of being.

We are all changing matter sharing this planet.

I love this video of our little friend Elliot climbing, inch by inch, up an old rock at The Francis Carter Preserve in Charlestown, RI. If you remember, there's nothing quite like reaching the top of a dinosaur size rock in a forest full of wild things, and as a parent, it's so sweet to hear the call, "Look at me, Mom!". A true parenting and childhood mile"stone".

If you didn't read my recent article, "Wildlife Biology- A career for nature- loving kids", as printed in the Nov. 11th Narragansett Times, or in the Nov. 18th Charlestown Press, then check out: Connecting children with the wonderful cycles of wildlife is both a service to yourself, and to them. You're fostering their love of the natural world, and hence cultivating their interests into potential careers in the biological and earth sciences, plus a good hike enriches your relationship.

Enjoy the natural world... get to know your wildlife refuges and nature preserves.
I know you can get out and feel better, reach milestones, and enjoy an any season hike!

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