Parenting Green: Take Nature’s Lead
Go with the Flow
Have you ever had that moment, where something you’ve heard over and over again finally takes on a whole new meaning? I found that happening to me once before when observing my neighbors chickens for quite some time feeding in the yard, and truly understood what was meant to be called ‘a chicken.’ Well this moment was a similar embodiment of a saying found routed in nature that was really brought to life by engagement and observation.
On a recent vacation, my family was taking out some canoes and kayaks in a saltwater river that connected the bay side to the ocean side of Cape Cod. The direction of the current was dependent on high and low tide. If you timed it right you could ideally ride the current in one direction and wait for the tides to turn and then have the same ease in riding it back. The trip that we were journeying on this particular time was going to be a short exploration, so we figured it would be easier to ride the current at the end of the trip, so we headed upstream first.
In my canoe was my ten year old daughter and my two year old son. Of course the two year old had an oar which was his own unique rudder in the middle of the boat, while my ten year old truly engaged in the work of paddling. Going against the stream was challenging and slow. As you might have imagined, there was an ‘ah ha’ moment that we all felt when we decided to change direction and head back and go with the flow of the river. Being out in nature allowed for that saying to be embodied, and it was a really special moment.
A big part of our trip out on the Cape is about getting out in nature and exploring. The kids love it and it’s not without challenges, but when we all get home there is a new bond and celebration that we share. This particular epiphany has become the motto of our trip in a lot of ways too as we are approaching time with more curiosity and wonder.
Have you had one of those experiences recently in nature that really put into life a motto or saying? Or perhaps there is an idiom or expression from nature that holds particular meaning for you.
Please comment below as a fun experiment in sharing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Angie Gregory settled in the Western MA 6 years ago after many years of traveling the country. She lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and three kids and is an avid gardener and studies herbal medicine. She has worked in the community fostering projects like Grow Food Northampton and started Mother Herb Diaper Service out of her home after the birth of her second child. Her business is now a cooperative venture and has relocated to Holyoke, MA under the name of Simple Diaper & Linen.