Transformed Through Nature:

tbaxterpaintingNature has inspired you.  Perhaps you have sat on a rock on a clear desert night and looked up into the sky and were moved by the monumental vastness of the universe.  You felt very, very tiny–Nature has humbled you.  Or perhaps when things in your life were confusing, or overwhelming and you escaped to the forest and simply walked, and walked, through the stillness and the softness, the green everywhere engulfing you and embracing you and you left the forest feeling cleansed–Nature has calmed you.   Or maybe it was water—bobbing up and down in the waves, being rocked, practically caressed by this miraculous life giving substance so simple yet complex–you felt intimate with Nature, you knew Nature was within you.  Maybe it was the first time you bit into fresh food someone grew in their garden and chose to share with you, or it was that first fish you caught, the first line you skied, the first night you slept out under the stars, the first horse you rode, the first time you saw a mountain, the first time you could identify a bird or tree…you were moved.  Nature transformed you.  Perhaps it is none of these–we all have our own story of why we care to be outside and why we care to get our children outside.  It is more likely than not that if you are reading this you too have had experiences that have transformed you in the natural world, some easily explained and some perhaps deeper, more spiritual.  It is important that we share our stories of transformation–it is an opportunity to inspire others.  We all NEED nature in our lives to be happy and healthy.  All children deserve opportunities to be exposed to the natural world so they too can have the chance to connect and to develop their own story.  It is our responsibility as parents, teachers, relatives and friends to share our stories and to fight for every child’s right to be able to simply “be” outside in the natural world.  Please follow our posts, consider sharing your own story about transformation and continue to be inspired by our amazing world!

Sleeping in the Forest
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
-By Mary Olivier

“Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.”Walt Whitman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,talented,and famous?” Actually, who are you not to be?…Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some if us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

“Children more than ever, need opportunities to be in their bodies in the world — jumping rope, bicycling,
stream hopping and fort building. It’s this engagement between limbs of the body and bones of the earth
where true balance and centeredness emerge.”
-David Sobel, Childhood and Nature

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