These past few weeks spent watching my kids play in the summer light, a thought has slowly taken shape in my heart and profoundly shifted my experience as their mother. Nature is their third parent.
When the girls scale rocks and branches, nature is helping them build resilience and strength.
When they play in the mud, nature is nurturing their creativity and building their immunity.
When they encounter death on our farm, nature is teaching my girls about the fragility and value of life.
Suddenly I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I didn't have to do it all. I didn't have to be EVERYTHING.
When the flowers bloom, my daughters know beauty.
When they forage for wild edibles, they are being fed and nourished.
When the seasons shift, they experience impermanence, patience and change.
Nature has been there beside through it all, occupying the kids when they get "bored", aiding in their emotional and physical development, and most importantly giving them the space and freedom to play.
It might not be the traditional village of our dreams, but the closer we get to nature the more chance we have of recognizing it as one of our biggest allies on this parenting journey. Only in modern times has nature been passively backdropped against our busy lives. In the past, nature was characterized and understood as a force, an active participant playing a vital role within the context of the family and wider community. And she's still there, patiently waiting for us to ask for help.
I would love to read in the comments below how nature has supported you in your journey as parents and caretakers. Thanks so much!
Your Woman Gone Wild,
I do absolutely agree with you! Nature is sooo important in our life with two little ones (6 and 8 months) too. I just made a experience with my 8 month old,.. after a long 5 months of winter where we are somewhat enclosed (or at least we don’t spend as much time outdoors as we do during the warmer months) – my little one would often get cranky inside – but as soon as I dress him and went outdoors he’s fine. Just content. Even if the winds hauling and the snow swirling.. he’s fine. Also his sleep is way better if he sleeps outdoors in the stroller. … aah… there is something to nature and the energies of it for sure. Just so sad we got to dull to understand!!
Anyway, thank you so much for your post and sharing your heart and mind! Also for interlinking the huffington post article (I almost shed tears when I read it) ! I wonder – have you ever hear about “The Ringing Cedars of Russia?”
I totally agree with you. Our lifestyle might not be the wildest, but we try our hardest to connect our kids with nature in every way we can. Because at the end of the day, it makes parenting easier.
Thank you so much for the kind words, and it means the world to me that this message resonate with you!