In his landmark book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our…
When you get kids into nature, their faces remind us of what childhood was always meant to be. The smiles. The focused concentration without distraction. The dreamy, meditative expressions of simply being there, in the sun. In the water and wind. Looking at clouds or the kaleidoscope of light through a tall cedar.
Because out here, they play, naturally. They learn, and they explore without phones or tablets. No anxiety about emails and texts. No social media warfare. No long stretches of time sitting, staring at a screen. Out here, they engage with the world around them. They move. They breathe. They feel cold, clean water on their skin and they shiver in the breeze.
Instead of beeps and bells and reminders, there is the lap of oars in the water. Footsteps on a forest trail. Bees buzzing on wildflowers. There’s laughter and the shriek of delight as a fish bites.
There are bird songs, including the haunting call of a loon. There’s the soothing trickle of secluded streams.
The silence of a quiet lake or forest canopy.
There’s an offering of maple leaves to Buddha as he watches over the water and rocks and frogs. There are discussions about his simple messages of peace and acceptance.
There are dragonflies to observe and study. Snakes and water skippers.
And maybe, hopefully, some imaginations kindled, some wonder inspired. Some confidence gained.
And extended time spent with friends, in person, in the moment.