“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” -John Muir
We went to the woods on Monday. It was our two year anniversary, so we went to the lake where we had planned to get married. Two days before the wedding, a wildfire broke out & we had to switch up the venue instead, but that lake holds a special place in our hearts.
Yesterday, it was back to the city. Back to our yardless apartment. Back to traffic and evening news and leashed dogs with disgruntled owners who are lax about scooping poo instead of the hills–alive with the music of leaves in the wind. I spent the afternoon and early evening feeling sorry for myself and Easton. This is NOT the life that I want to give him. I do not want to spend my mental energy on navigating parks where I think there wont be: goose poop, dog poop, cigarette butts, trash, men who take pictures of my back as I bend over to wipe my son’s nose, loud traffic, lots of smokers, etc.
Then I spent the evening thinking about Monday. Looking at all the pictures. And I realized something. Living in the city and watching the evening news, it’s easy to believe that the world is an ugly place full of hateful, ignorant people. But it’s not. The world is beautiful. So darn beautiful.
We were so very poor when I was growing up. We never lived in the city or an apartment, but we lived in some pretty run down places. I’ve heard anyway. I don’t remember it. I remember playing in the field next to our house with the neighborhood kids, hiking trips to the mountains every weekend, throwing rocks in the pond and watching the ripples as my dad pretended to enjoy fishing, camping trips, building snowmen, finding arrowheads, watching deer and elk and porcupines or grouse. I remember being outside. Seeing a huge, inexhaustible world and feeling in awe of its bigness.
I want Easton to know that world. I want him to know and love the outside world and learn from it. I want him to be well acquainted with dirt. And trees. And leaves. And rocks. And river. And trail. And meadow. I want him to feel the place where he can breathe, to know there is still much to explore, to know wilderness and to allow it to call out the wildness within him. Even living in the city, even though he isn’t even 9 months, I strive for him to play outside everyday. To explore the texture of tree trunks, pine needles, and tall grasses. To learn colors from the changing leaves. And we do our best to go to the mountains every weekend. Just like I did growing up.
Those mountains and that lake are always there. And even in the city there is beauty, there are nice parks, one day we will have a backyard. The world is beautiful. Always.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
As a mother, it’s my job to show my son how beautiful the world is. How precious. How worthy of our reverence nature and every living thing is. It’s my job to show him that even if we aren’t in them every day, we are still connected to the mountains–to their wildness and beauty. It’s my job to allow him to feel that connection as if it were palpable–so that when we return to the city, we can see it with new eyes. We can live a little more lightly, walk with gentleness in our step and wildness in our eyes, beauty in our Spirits. Whole and alive.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. ” -John Muir