Wednesday, June 03, 2015

You'll Find It Beautiful

If it's sunny, go outside.

If it's rainy, go outside.

If it's hotter than Hades, go outside.

If it's colder than Pluto, go outside.

Go outside in the wind, the hail, the fog, and the snow.

Monday marked the beginning of our unimaginatively named Summer Program, the time of year when we only go inside to wash our hands and use the toilet. It's been cool and rainy, but that's just okay, we're out there anyway. There's a part of me that would close the school doors forever and never go back inside, other than to retrieve the stuff we've stored there.

Sometimes people will say it's important to go into "nature," and they're right, but we live in a city, one that is becoming increasingly dense. Going into nature means loading up the car, burning dinosaur bones, clogging up the freeways, and commuting through all that suburban sprawl until we finally find a bit of increasingly rare "nature." We don't have nature at hand unless you count our parks and beaches, which are great, but require transportation. What we do have, what we always have, is outside. 

It's good enough to go outside, to be in a place with no walls or ceilings, where we can use our outdoor voices, make a mess, use our whole bodies, and let the next rain clean it up for us. Nature is known for its sticks and rocks and dirt. We have that. We have grasses, shrubs, and trees. And the air outside is certainly better than the air inside. We have wildlife like squirrels, crows, rats, and raccoons. A bald eagle once landed in the branches of one of our cedars and proceeded to pluck the feathers from a smaller bird it had caught for lunch and our entire space is built upon a giant ant hill.

Our habitat abounds in all kinds of loose part resources that, were they found in nature, would be considered garbage: tires, ropes, shipping pallets, planks of wood, and old toys in various states of decay. It's a vacant lot habitat.

But none of that is as important as simply going outside, wherever you are, whatever the weather, and not going in until you have to. It might not be nature, it might just be outside, but if you do it with children, you'll find it beautiful.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
Bookmark and Share

No comments: