At the Pond

It's spring and our neighbor's pond is brimming with turtles, salamanders, frogs, eggs, and all sorts of slimy, cool stuff. Yesterday the neighborhood girls spent the afternoon exploring it (and they're back again now). The water was cold and the ground was so saturated that water squished up between our toes when we walked. Tadpoles raced out from under the wet leaves at the edge causing little thrills of excitement.

I joined them for a few photos, but then, after extracting promises that they wouldn't actually swim, left them to their own devices. They arrived home at the end of the afternoon with frog eggs which they are planning to settle into an aquarium. They were only wet to the mid-thigh :)

This is the kind of nature-time I want our kids to have. I want them to feel daring by a pond without an adult. I want them to watch out for each other. I want all their senses to be engaged--cold toes, slimy fingers, smelly hands.

I want them to hold a living thing and to worry about the impact of their actions on it.

I want them so alive in nature that time floats away.

We will probably make nature journals for the summer. We'll probably go out sketching wildflowers. We'll probably engage in some deeper learning of nature. But more often, I hope the girls are out having days like today--they'll be learning plenty.

Lisa Anne  – (April 21, 2008 at 9:47 AM)  

Beautiful! This is what I want for my daughter, when I was a child I would just loose myself in Nature. I have two brothers and I was always trying to escape their tortures, nature was always my fortress. This gift you are giving your girls of being in nature is what I believe one of the most important gifts we can give our children. This is really what made me decide to homeschool when we moved away from the Waldorf school, the opportunity for my daughter to commune so deeply with the rhythm of farm life and a connection to nature around us, it was heart-breaking to think about her going to the local PS and sitting all day.

Anonymous –   – (April 21, 2008 at 9:52 AM)  

Spring is such a glorious time for getting outside and getting wet and muddy! I'm working on being more brave and letting my kids go out of my sight a little bit. They're still a bit too young to always remember the rules and boundaries, but we're working on it. They could putter in the woods and brook for hours.

Dawn  – (April 21, 2008 at 10:05 AM)  

I loved what you said about extracting a promise that they wouldn't actually go swimming before leaving them to explore on their own ;) That pond looks like such a fun place to explore and how exciting to find all that wildlife.

Tracy  – (April 21, 2008 at 4:44 PM)  

You do what I only dream of letting my kids do. I really would let them explore a pond if we had easy access to one. Time to go scope one out!

Anonymous –   – (April 21, 2008 at 9:53 PM)  

Lovely, lovely, lovely. And glad to hear that you had a wonderful time in Florida as well! I want to play in a pond too! Thanks for sharing!


Gypsy  – (April 22, 2008 at 5:25 AM)  

What a beautiful post ... "I want them so alive in nature that time floats away". Thank you

Angela  – (April 22, 2008 at 6:19 AM)  

Now this is what it is all about! What a fabulous day, and excellent post. Do get those nature journals wonderful!

woolies  – (April 23, 2008 at 9:25 AM)  

Your pond is awesome. When my kids were little, we lived near a creek, and part of almost every weekend was spent at the creek. We talk about it often, and miss it. Out here in the southwest, there are no creeks or ponds. there is something about water......
Beautiful blog! Thanks for visiting mine.

Lisa  – (April 23, 2008 at 3:23 PM)  

That's some pond! How lovely.

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