“Wherever mankind has left a patch of earth, even a tiny crack in the sidewalk, nature will try to fill that niche. The wonders of nature can be found wherever we look—anyplace, city or suburb, countryside or wilderness—nature is everywhere.”
~ Tom Brown, Jr.
Growing up in the suburbs of Midwest USA, surrounded by fields and countryside, afforded me the opportunity to explore and play in my surroundings. During summer vacation, it wasn’t uncommon to take off for the day and not return home until dinner. No one worried about us. We were free to have all kinds of ‘adventures’.
We didn’t have bike helmets, or knee pads or elbow pads. Did we get broken bones, stitches, poison ivy? Yep. Did we survive it? Yep.
Today, in many parts of our country, especially the cities, children don’t have the opportunities to explore nature as we did. In fact, I believe a large portion of our population has a complete disconnect with nature.
If our children today aren’t allow the chance to connect with nature, how can we expect them to care about protecting our wilderness areas, or make the right choices and live a life that leaves a smaller footprint in our environment?
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we humans have a deep-seated need for wilderness—a place where we can find relief from the constant noise of traffic, people and technology. We need to be alone with our thoughts to remember who we are and what is really important in life. We need to replenish our very soul.
But just because you don’t live in the country, or near some vast wilderness area doesn’t mean you can’t help your children (and yourself) find those pockets of wilderness that do still exist—even in the cities…even in your own backyard.
Here’s something to help you with this quest. It’s called Tom Brown’s Field Guide To The Forgotten Wilderness.
In this handy book, Tom Brown shows you how to discover wilderness in you lawn, hedgerows, suburbs, playgrounds, and even drainage ditches. Then he helps you explore the parks and forests, ponds and streams. You will learn about what animals, birds and plants to look for. And at the back of the book, he teaches you the basics of how to track wildlife.
How many of us rush through the day never feeling the wind in our hair, the sun on our faces? Have you seen the thousands of colors in a handful of beach sand? Enjoyed a sunset? Have you ever hugged a tree?
Maybe today you begin your own adventure…