Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Through the eyes of a child...

We found a catepillar! This gorgeous spring everyone who has ever laid claim to the outdoors should beg or borrow a small child to introduce to the wonders of Nature. Perhaps it is the newness of their eyes, the sharpness of their hearing, or their fresh sense of smell… whatever the reason, watching a child explore springtime is a joyful experience. Tiny barefoot feet touching grass for the first time…crinkled, curling toes, unsure what this soft wondrous oddity may be, is always followed by a giggle. And the distinct aroma of early mowed grass is memorable for a lifetime and should be noted with a youngster in tow.
The phletoria of insects to watch once Spring arrives is beyond measure. From beetles to ants, perhaps because a child is low to the ground, no insect escapes their careful observation. The roly-poly, so detested by gardeners, is fascinating with its ability to close into a tight ball only to reopen in a moment, scurrying along on numerous gray legs. Fluttering butterflies are also truly miraculous to the open mind of a child. So special is this winged insect that Native American tribes have a lore and even a dance to celebrate the butterfly. It is said that they were a gift by the Creator to mankind to bring us joy and that prayers may be carried to heaven by butterflies. At Native Pow Wows girls dance to the drumbeat, their feet caressing Mother Earth as their brightly colored shawls gently flutter as they imitate the swaying, dipping motions of butterflies in flight. This seems the year of the butterfly as we seem to have an abnormal abundance of them on everything that is flowering. Even Mud is marvelous!
The scent of Springtime is unmistakable and it seems the early flowers are the sweetest. The lilac, currants and flowering fruit trees are followed by the flower garden. With each distinct scent a child will be amazed and impressed… and Julia smells and says ‘Ummmmm‘! An early introduction to growing vegetables from seeds will plant the seeds of a pursuit into the wonders of healthy living through gardening. Children are amazed that food actually comes from the ground and is not at all dirty, but rather delicious. Nature is a remarkable gift and introducing a child to the treasure trove outside the door is a lasting pleasure… take a walk with a child and enjoy as they discover the wonders! Mr. Frog is truly surprised!