Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring things

It's a windy, rainy Monday here at IslandWood, and I'm on a non-teaching week. That means I'm sitting inside looking out the window at the cold wet woods instead of traipsing around trails with ten kids in tow. It's funny though, somehow the rain seems much more miserable than it actually is, because when you're out there teaching in it, it's one of the last things on your mind in the course of a busy nature-filled day.

I'm remembering all the wonders of last week, though, when I was in the thick of it. All 27 of us grad students were out there teaching in teams, and we were all lucky enough to have sun shining on us most of that time. I remember being able to just feel all the things growing around me, and my skin was soaking up the rays just as voraciously as the baby-green buds and fronds and leaves. Indian plum shrubs were heavily laden with green spurts of leaves, crabapple trees at the harbor were bursting with white blossoms, alder trees were bedecked with long strands of catkin pods, which have started to spray pollen like fairy dust in the sunkissed breezes. Stinging nettle is shooting up like wildfire, and kids can't get enough of their salty spinach taste (despite the inevitable stings they get on their forefingers when folding the leaves). And my favorite, the odd little fiddlehead stalks that are subtly pushing their way through detritus on the trailsides speak to the many more changes to come.

More and more I'm coming to think of this place as an ever-changing playground where people of all ages can come to learn and play. All of us who can come here are so very very lucky, I realize. It makes me wish there were more places out there for people of all ages in which to discover nature + themselves. Then after all, that's why I'm here: Learning to make nature experiences more possible and wonderful for everyone, both now and in the future.

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