September 24, 2010

Communing with nature

My early morning post today brought up some memories of my childhood & out door play. Ordinary Sarah mentioned that she's reading a book called Last Child in the Woods. When I looked it up it piqued my curiosity. If I'm reading reviews correctly it's about a child's need to commune with nature so to speak.

My kids, with the exception of BabyGirl who cannot abide getting hot, spend a great deal of time out of doors. We have 10 acres. They have the run of most of it for most of the year. They play kick ball in a field their dad keeps mowed down for them complete with the diamond shape mowed into the grass. They have a tree house, a play house/swing set, a sand box, a stand alone swing set and out door toys galore. They have a creek to explore complete with a steep drop off they can climb with a rope their dad tied up for them. There's a pond to fish in; a pool to swim in; dogs to chase; cats to cuddle. They have no lack of out side stuff to do....unless you ask them & then they'll tell you there's never anything to do around here.

Until I was almost 13 we lived in town; Neighbors, traffic, sidewalks and all. When we moved to Tennessee we moved into a new house in a new subdivision. There were 2 streets and 3 houses total on (I'm guessing) 20 acres of land. Bubba, Princess, and I had the run of the entire area. It was surrounded by a fenced in dairy farm so we knew exactly how far we could wander before we were out of our "neighborhood."

We spent hours riding bikes, running up & down the hill between our house & the only other occupied house in the neighborhood, playing make-believe, and exploring our new environment. The first summer we were there, our aunt & uncle & cousins came to visit. During their visit, Daddy & Uncle took all of us to some small cliffs that were hidden from view until you got right up to them. We spent hours trying to climb up them and running in & around them.

That same summer a friend came to spend the weekend with me & ended up staying 3 weeks including one at church camp. Together we got more adventurous than I would ever have been on my own. We wandered down by the creek at the bottom of the subdivision and spent days sitting in a small secluded area having pic-nics and playing games.

For a girl who grew up in a fenced in back yard with limits as to how far down the block & in which direction I was allowed to ride my bike, it was an amazing adventure. I've never been the outdoorsy type, but I'd like to think that 13 year old girl is still lurking below the surface. She comes out every now & then when the FarmHands find a new bend in the creek or hollow tree to play in. She's shy, but I'm hoping she can be coaxed out more often.....and her kids are amazed by sidewalks & cul-d-sacs.

1 comment:

Kork said...

That book is amazing and one worth reading if you haven't yet...I'm going to re-read it here as soon as the library has it back in...

We don't have quite the options as your kids do, but to them, our 1/3 acres city lot is HUGE! They can run in the backyard all day and only hit the same spot twice if they do it right. We also are blessed to have an amazing network of bike paths and "nature trails" through town that we use as often as we can.

Wishing we could buy property such as you have and let the kids run loose.

I always picture your land as sort of Huck Finn-esque for some reason!