Living in suburbia, I sometimes feel the need to get away into nature. Maybe that’s why I felt drawn to camping for our family vacation this year rather than flying and driving and time-sharing and all the other vacation things. And in the visitor’s center I happened upon a book I’d been wanting about just that: our human need to be nurtured by nature. Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder is about how to teach our children to love nature by giving them experiences in the wild. I will warn you, the book may make you long to pack up and move to somewhere completely different (as if I needed any encouraging in that area…remember this?) But it does give some interesting research and ideas about exposing our little ones to God’s creation. Although it is not from a christian perspective, it does recognize the bond between creation and our souls, something I’ve known personally for years.
As for me, taking my camera with me into nature has become a way of seeing the beauty of a place more clearly. I seem to process my experiences better when I capture little slivers of time with my lens. Of the many interactions we had with the natural world this week, here are just a few.
…heading home…enjoying trying to identify the crops on both sides of the road through California’s central plains. We saw walnut groves, corn fields, grape vineyards…all interesting to us city folk! But oh, how could I forget our closest encounter with nature…the bears! (And my boys calmly heading away from the bears…note Greg’s concerned expression!)