Nature, Naturally…

This past summer, my husband and I took our children camping in an attempt to spend an adventurous, exciting 3 days getting back to nature, enjoying the beautiful beach and making s’mores on a campfire; while at the same time, teaching our children to appreciate the simple beauty of creation. Well, that was the plan.

As I lay in the tent listening to the rain pouring down around me wondering if the tent fly would indeed keep the water off our pillows, I couldn’t help making a mental list of all the things we were supposed to be doing on our fun family weekend. I wasn’t supposed to be drying clothes by the fire or stringing tarps up in the trees to keep the children dry. What about the nature walks and swimming at the beach? What about the sunny stroll through the tourist traps eating funnel cake with ice cream? What a miserable failure this vacation had turned out to be!

But as I listened to my 2 year old squeal with delight to the loud droplets of rain on the makeshift shelter and watched my son searching for worms to put in his bug basket for further examination, I realized that this is exactly what people mean when they say they want to “get back to nature”.

After all, this is what we wanted right? To get away from the high-tech hustle and bustle of everyday, to sit and do nothing, nowhere to go, nothing to do but warm our camping chairs, drink a cup of coffee and take in the harmonious sounds of nature all around us.
With our electronic-video game-online shopping-drive thru-paper cup-lifestyle; I realized that I’d almost missed the opportunity to watch trees sway as they buffered the rain above us causing the heavy downpour to fall lightly all around us. I’d been so busy complaining about a small furry friend stealing our hotdog buns in the night that I had almost missed the magical brush with wildlife which was so exciting to my 5 year old son as he followed clues to which animal might have left the muddy paw prints on our picnic table.

Canada has so much to offer in the way of simple elegance and raw beauty that if we just take some time away from executing the perfectly planned high-tech outdoor vacation, that actually insulates us from the outdoors; and take a few moments to appreciate the earth in all her rainy, muddy, bug-filled, creature crawly splendor, we’ll find the true beauty of the world around us.

So I have a suggestion for the next time you decide to “get back to nature”, leave the laptop and mp3 player at home, pack the bare essentials and find a nice conservation area to pitch a tent for a couple of days. Park yourself in the middle of a forest or beside a waterfall and spend some time doing nothing but breathing in the essence of nature and carefully allowing yourself to become a part of all it’s beauty. You won’t regret the time you spend with your family exploring the earth and all that it has to offer. Just don’t forget to pick up your trash and safely put out the campfire before you leave, because there’s a generation to come who will want to follow in your footsteps.

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