I know that is not the way everyone experiences it. So many people have told me that it just gets harder and harder as babies get older and start moving around, but for me it's been the opposite. Now that my son can walk, we both have so much more independence.
|Nate OK Photo|
I am so grateful for Nate's and Koan's personalities, pushing me to do things that I never got around to much on my own. We go on family outings. To the beach. Camping. Trips to nearby islands on our bikes. Hikes and bike rides through forest trails. We eat wild plants. We grow vegetables. We get wet. We get dirty. It feels so clean.
|Erin OK Photo|
I believe that everyone has a natural affinity for connecting with the natural environment around them. It's rejuvenating. It puts things in perspective. It's fulfilling. It makes you feel healthy and free. But in our culture, so many of us grow up without nurturing that connection, and miss out on that perspective and rejuvenation in our daily lives.
Koan has been telling me quite clearly since he was born that the way I was used to living was not right. There is no way he would let me go back to school and spend my life indoors, staring into books and computers. He will cry and fuss all the time unless we spend hours a day outside and active. And actually, his dad is quite similar. He suffers and withers and casts a gloomy shadow over everything unless he can walk and run and climb and bike in a real ecosystem on a regular basis. Naturally, our relationship deepens when I join him. And so does my satisfaction with life.
|Erin OK Photo|
So I have spent this summer listening to my heart, to my family members, and to the cues of the season. I'm trying to do so much, and it's not as easy as I'd like. But when I'm staring out at the ocean, breathing tree air, and picking berries with my son, I feel like I'm getting it right. And when I'm following my husband up and down hills to some ordinary natural wonder or another, I think we are already there.
Summer is such a fruitful time to connect with the natural world! How have you been doing it?