I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived ~ Henry David Thoreau
The happiest times in my life were spent among the trees. When I was young the trees were a place of make believe and adventure. As I grew up, the forests around our home became a place of solace and solitude. Now I find I need time spent alone with nature in order to function the rest of the time.
I know our children are the same way, they require space to explore, to test themselves, to create new worlds and solve the problems of this one. They need nature. But we live in a place with few trees, and fewer natural areas where children can get lost amongst the trees. Though that didn’t stop us from driving over to a neighbouring community that does have an urban forest.
We spent a few hours here the other day exploring the well groomed trails and, of course, discovering what lay beyond the path.
It was neat watching our kiddos fly through the trees with glee one moment, only to stop, hesitate and say, “We shouldn’t go there, there’s no path” the next.
Their thoughts about propriety are founded on suburban city life where everything belongs to someone. Going into a forest that doesn’t have signs warning visitors to stay on the path was totally new to them. But this first taste of freedom allowed them to see a small glimpse of what the world has to offer. They want more!
There’s plenty of time for them to follow rules and stay on the path. This time of childhood is for living and exploring, getting dirty and making wishes.
When faced with an opportunity and a wish, what do you do? As adults we often stand back, hold ourselves back, many adults don’t even make wishes. Instead we settle. We settle for what we have. We settle for what the world’s told us is our lot in life. But children? They wish. They dream. They see a moment and they dive right in!
We went into the woods so that we might live an #unforgettable life, but we got so much more than that! We got the opportunity to make wishes and changes. My children brought the wonder of the world back to me, and I hadn’t even known that wonder was gone until they showed me.
We went into the woods that we might live in a world full of wishes.