This afternoon, there was a long discussion in our home, because Chiqui didn’t want go to the woods. We’d been there too often this year, he claimed. He wanted to go to the beach and search for rocks. With the promise of a beach visit next week, he let us convince him and we set off.
We went to a forest preserve I had heard about, but never been to, about a half hour away. It was another one of our adventures, we didn’t know what we would find, only that we would look.
At the preserve, we found no paths, so we walked aimlessly through the woods, excited that poison ivy was not prevalent. The kids took turns leading through the brush, following a thin deer trail. We were rewarded when we found a marsh full of cattails and a surprise clump of wild iris, blooming along the edge of the water.
My face was eaten by ferocious mosquitoes as we examined mushrooms, wildflowers, and birds. Eventually, we came to a clearing where the forest had obviously been thinned some years ago; there were few older oaks, a number of thinner ones, some saplings… and lots of felled trees. The kids had a field-day climbing, competing against each other as they edged along the high arches the trunks and branches created above the ground.
Then they began to build a play house alongside one thick, fallen tree. Chiqui was the builder, while Golondrina prepared their “meal.” I sat in the clearing and relished the moment, their play. I observed the woods around me, and appreciated the sacrifices all those fallen trees had made, and I offered my gratitude through Reiki.
I have so often felt grief because my children can’t run free in Nature the way that I did as a child. I grieve that they can’t develop the same kind of intimate relationship. But today I was reminded that this is untrue. In a few hours of play and communion, I got to see them in their own intimate relationship with Nature.
When I said it was time to go because the sun was hiding behind the clouds and I felt chilly, Chiqui said to me, “Come on, move around!” Which is what I always say to him. So I did, I walked around them in a wide circle, and gave them more time to play. And when I returned, a good while later, they begged me for more time. So we stayed until our stomachs growled with hunger and we could no longer deny them.
And in the car, in rush hour traffic, I overheard Golondrina ask Chiqui, “What do you think is more fun, the lake or the woods?” And my heart just sang, because any answer to that question would be a good one!