During the COVID shutdown, one of the daily practiced we implemented with our kids was a morning walk. We looked at signs that the season were changing. We tracked the morning light, but our favorite days were when we encountered a new creature. The pileated woodpecker would often interrupt our walks or the box turtle who had wandered too far from the pond. There was an opening to our mornings to wonder and wander because we had no place to be.

I know it’s odd to say I miss those times, but I do sometimes. I am so thankful that we are able to gather safely and that our kids have classrooms and friends and teachers that they love, but on the weekends, we tend to go back to that wandering and wondering. Our kids transform into explorers looking for signs of wildlife, checking on ponds and puddles that are along our weekly routes. They aren’t hurried. They aren’t worried. They are fully present in the natural world.

When there is so much violence in the world, I need this time as much as they do. I need to look at the light reflecting off the water and remember that the world can be a beautiful place. I need to look at my children who have the space and freedom to explore without concern of harm coming their way, so that my hope that all children in the world would have that space is restored. Exploring these possibilities only opens wide our souls to work to create this space.

May we keep explored so that we can create a more beautiful world.