My 12 year old daughter and I are driving on an angling back road through Forest Preserves filled with Oak Savannah Prairie near Chicago, Illinois. Leaves drift down in suicide falls hitting our front car window with abandon as we drive over hill and dale enjoying the sunny fall vistas.
Suddenly, I swerve the car off the road into an abandoned prairie. There are trees and fall flowering aster and butterfly in the field. When I turn off the car my daughter says, “We’re just stopping here? In middle of no where?”
“Yep.” I answer.
“What are we going to do?” She frowns.
I smile and jump out of the car. We walk the field taking pictures, breathing fresh air, playing with butterflies and LIVING (see above photo). It was perfect and wonderful. It was exercise. It was joy. It was sunshine. It was health.
We laughed together and held hands staring at a giant oak tree and contemplating the complexity of life and the awesomeness of that tall tree growing in a field of green (see below photo).
Every child needs to experience the touch of nature as much as possible. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation, our children face health crisis issues every day and by getting children out into the environment we are preventing serious health conditions like obesity and diabetes and connecting children to nature.
Take your children into nature in your neighborhood and make a difference in their lives. Without a doubt it will be worth every moment shared together.