"I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein by Walter Isaacson
If I accomplish anything in parenting, I hope it is that I encourage and help my children develop a strong curiosity about the world outside their own small, tidy little boxes. In our ever-changing, technology-filled world, we have all the information we could ever want right at our fingertips. We don't have to look very far. But what really makes our life journey worthwhile?
"How many people spend their entire lives striving for something with their nose to the grindstone only to wake up one day to realize they haven't really lived at all. You can never surf the same wave twice; you only get one shot at it. Yesterday is not coming back." The Road to Sparta by Dean Karnazes
|My first phenology wheel—a daily wedge of nature.|
|I serve as her guide, but my daughter does her own thing.|
I'm no artist and neither is my daughter, yet we thoroughly enjoy finding something each day that causes us to ponder, wonder, explore, and record. I'm opening up our nature journals to your (hopefully not too) critical eyes because I passionately want to provide some encouragement about embracing nature and studying something of beauty each day; examining something uniquely intriguing that is right there on your path.
"The question is not what you look at but what you see." Henry David Thoreau
|She enjoys combining and blending colors.|
|Mary's interpretation of dogwood leaves.|
"Everyone has a sprout of talent. Developing that sprout into a wonderful ability depends on how it is cultivated." Ability Development from Age Zero by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
|Experimenting with word placement.|
|We try to capture the mood of the day and change how we look at our specimens.|
|We hammered wildflowers and came up with this.|
|She felt that the leaf was glowing.|
|Adding some poetry.|
"I have to learn the habits of adoration intentionally—to get out of my head and stop to notice the colors in my daughter's eyes or the sound of rain on our back porch." Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
|Mimicking nature is no small task.|
|Playing with the background.|
"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein
"I can't do anything about the state of the world, but I can put my own life in order.
Liturgy of the Ordinary
|We're working on shadowing.|
My biggest inspiration has come from the book Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth. "Simply put, nature journaling is the regular recording of observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you. That is the essence of the process... Don't judge your drawing. You are not an artist yet." Aww... that takes the pressure off and brings me back to remembering the purpose of this habit.
|I'm finding that I like to tell a story when I journal. It helps me remember.|
This season, my life is full of changes. I have a new, precious granddaughter. I have a struggling adult son. I have a teenage daughter adjusting to her first year in public school. And, as of last week, I no longer have any children homeschooling. Change is good but often unsettling.
"And so you have a life that you are living only now, now and now and now, gone before you can speak of it, and you must be thankful for living day by day, moment by moment in this presence." Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
Ecce diem—Behold the day.