Children love the woods. They love to invent, play, imagine, run, solve problems, and create whimsical palaces and castles with dragons. Children love to play and that is an important job of childhood. To often we don't see the value in unhindered, unstructured, unscheduled play. Honestly, its invaluable. Play for a child is worth rubies. Play for children should be something we would sell our favorite ring to ensure that they continue to have this life force. They can learn a lot about God through their play in the woods.
Here are a few images of some unhindered play time we experienced lately. It really focused me and directed my thoughts to see the children, ages 4 through 11, all playing together.
Its not about taking a "Moms Night Out", a class we enjoy, or even a date night with our spouse (although those are very nice indeed), it goes beyond this. It goes to taking care of those parts we hide from everyone, including yourself. We have to have time for us if we are to continue on with our own growth in God, in being a woman, being a wife, and in being a mother. We are all those things but we are also living beings and we must take time and pursue things which help to quiet our souls so we can focus on the direction God would have us go.
I helped my gentle friend collect rose hips. I knew I would not be able to take the time this week to make a syrup or tea so I gladly helped her. It was fun and encouraging. God is bringing some very gentle spirited people into my life and I am welcoming the lessons they can teach me. God has a way of doing that. He clothes us with just what we need, when we need it, often times when we refuse to acknowledge that need.
It was a delight for my heart to meander through the wooded path and spy signs of spring next to the obvious remnants of summer and fall. Oh sweet fall, your scent lingers in my heart, but the taste of spring is on my lips.
For now the Heavenly Power
Makes all things new,
And thaws the cold, and fills
The flower with dew;
The blackbirds have their wills,
The poets too.
(the above is from Tennyson's poem Early Spring)\
I know we are still in the throes of winter, spring is still several weeks away, but the signs are there.
Do you live in a area with urban woods? Do you incorporate nature studies into your day?