We do. Not far and not every week, but it is the most consistent part of our lives, the getting out into nature and moving together. Sometimes I think of it as our therapy and medication, all rolled into some fresh air and beating hearts. That's ok with me if that's how we handle our lows (like missing Dan - the sign above was made when we got back from driving him to the airport in Columbus. Shoot, I don't think the girls quite get how long five weeks is...). So many good things happen out there.
There is the obvious movement, deep breathing, increased heart rate, good oxygen moving to our brains, improving moods and brain function.
There is the reading of the land - on a walk with our friends-in-the-forest this weekend, we were walking logged land and there was a lot to understand about how it's changed, what it was before the logging, and how it's changed since the logging. What trees are growing in the disturbed land? What's growing just across the logging access road?
There are the quiet, solitary stops to inspect, to smell, to wonder - coyote poop or owl pellet? Hmmm....good question.
There is the beauty - the shapes and the stunning colors of this time of year are deeply nourishing to me.
There are the surprises, like old puffballs and tiny bones. Hearing your kids singing to the trees, in their own world.
The day today was so beautiful we had to get out again, after most of a day of working together on organizing and purging things from our house, mixed in with some games and figuring. As we neared a familiar spot, Eliza sighed, "oh this feels good already". She needed it too.
She told me with quiet pride that her friends ask her to identify plants when they're together; that at farm camp this summer, she was the one with the plant knowledge. She told me she loves that I talk about plants with her, and I told her that I am so happy it is something we share.
We keyed out a common plant that we hadn't learned yet, and as I was looking at the possibilities, I heard her say, "well, it's clearly jointed", which surprised me; I didn't think that was something she would notice, but it was the next thing in my key's choices: stems are jointed. Anyway, I don't expect that to make a lot of sense, but it was a really nice moment of realizing how observant she is about plants, and how much we can learn this together.