Tuesday, June 24, 2014

With Fresh Eyes

hikingA few months ago in The Power of Newness from Sioux's Page, Sioux asks,

“What new things/people/pets have caused you to look at things with new eyes?”

A couple of times a year my husband and I volunteer in the state park as Master Naturalists. We take second graders on a nature hike. I’m supposed to stop along the way and talk about the life cycles of trees, frogs, birds, butterflies, and plants to cover state science standards.

Many times I ask how many students have been to the state park and very few hands are raised. Some of them have never been on a nature hike before and some have never been in a forest. It amazes me how disconnected our students are from nature.

Our hike lasts about 90 minutes and along the way we may see a lot of different wildlife. Each hike is different. Sometimes we see tadpoles, salamanders, ducks, turtles, snakes, kingfishers and other birds, and butterflies. We also find many different wildflowers.

The best thing about leading these hikes are seeing all of these things through these children’s eyes. I never get bored from seeing these things every year because it is magical when I see it from the children’s point of view. Everything is fresh and new. Every time they look in wonder at all of these things, their amazement is thrilling to watch.

It is at this time that I talk about taking care of the things in nature and taking care of the world around them. It is this time that I feel I can have the best impact on them and hopefully give them a lasting memory. I hope that as they grow older, this will stay in their minds and help them be mindful stewards of the earth.

What has caused you to look at things with fresh eyes? Please share.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

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