Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning…
The Discovery of the Child Maria Montessori
It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.
The Sense of Wonder Rachel Carson
Autumn is here. The mornings are cool and foggy. The late afternoon shadows are long. Nights are clear and crisp. The leaves are changing colors, shades of red are appearing. Squirrels and chipmunks are gathering food for the winter. The grasses are turning gold, then brown. The days are getting shorter as we move towards the winter solstice.
Pause. Look. Listen. Breathe.
Slow down when you walk to the mailbox. Look at the sky. Look at the driveway. So many leaves and seeds are scattered on the ground. Slow down on your walk to the car in the morning. Give yourself and your child two extra minutes to walk slowly enough to see that spider’s web shimmering with dew. If you have more time, sit outside while your child runs in the yard. Look at the leaves fluttering and falling from the trees.
As an adult, when I slow down, it enables me to see nature with fresh eyes, to see what the children see, and embrace letting them be free.