We seem to be so drawn to these little pieces of creation, where ever we go one or all of us is picking up something shouting 'Hey, look at this'! We all gather round and usually it comes home with us. Sometimes it stays outside but mostly it gets added to the nature table. About once a week we'll all choose something and sit around the table with pencils, paints, crayons and our nature notebooks and draw our finds maybe jotting down observations and thoughts. We don't have to be out and about either just in the last two days I have been shown a heart collage made out of leaves and flowers, a fat dark caterpillar now named 'Spiky', red sap flowing out of a tree, a zip lock bag full of leaves and flowers and three different colored spiders, a green caterpillar living on our nasturtiums (which we've made a little viewing box for and will be watching) and various sticks and seeds. All this without leaving the front gate. Of course it is fun to go exploring in a new place but there is so much to find, see and appreciate right under our noses.
One of the things that is important to me is to that the children are awake to the beauty of creation that is alive all around them-that they see, smell, touch and explore the range and magnificence of their world. That each day they spend time outside 'being' with creation. It isn't necessary to be even doing anything. This morning I glimpsed 5yob laying in the sandpit gazing at the tree above. What a glorious moment; the birds were cooing , a gentle breeze was drifting through new green leaves and the morning sun was warm.
I don't have to do too much encouraging around here but even a little comment on the trees new growth or the sound of a birds song can inspire and leave an impression of the beauty that is in nature. Thankfully I'm pretty sure we've got some serious nature (and critter) lovers in this home.