Maybe this is the year…

Maybe this year I’ll finally become the outdoorsy type. I loved getting dirty planting. My boys loved playing in the dirt pile, and my husband loved building the raised bed box for me. It was a win all around.

I replanted after the dog dug everything up. At worst I’ll have to thin things out when they start going good. Better too much than not enough! That was super fun, too.

While my usual pursuits keep me indoors, snuggled on the couch, this may be the year I voluntarily spend time outside. My picture of myself is as a bit of an intellectual. I read for fun. I’m a nerd and a bit of a geek. Nerds and geeks aren’t generally outdoor types. But that picture obscures the real fun I generally have outdoors. I love planting. I like playing on the slip n’ slide or in the sprinklers with the kids. I like looking at the bright blue sky through the leaves of a tree, or watching squirrels scurry and eat and fight. I still like looking at bugs. I just don’t remember that I like them because I’m so busy being a nerd.

Maybe this is the year that I’ll break out of my own preconceived notions about myself and learn to actually let myself enjoy the nature that I so want to protect. Maybe this year it will go from an intellectual pursuit to an actual one. Getting familiar with dirt and trees and animals instead of just reading about global pollution and spending money on organic produce. This year I will grow my own. I will sit out in the back yard and enjoy the sun and the sounds of the natural world around me. I might even leave my book inside sometimes. I will find nature trails to take the kids hiking along. Some of my best childhood memories are of hiking along the creek near our house and catching crawdads and seeing interesting bugs and beautiful spiderwebs.

I am teaching my children to be stewards of the environment without instilling in them a love of  the actual things that make it up. My son loves nature. He plants trees and recycles to save the planet, and that’s my influence. It’s time we go out into the world and learn about it. He needs to learn that there is more to nature than just trees.

I will teach my children and learn from them this year. We will learn together about the natural world around us and they’ll remind me how to enjoy it to the fullest.

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