This week we have another World Report for you, focused this time on Fair Share and Future Care. We are bombarded constantly with the news of a new ecological threat almost daily. Oceans are getting more polluted, topsoil is being lost, our health is decreasing, and species are on the verge of extinction. Where do we possibly turn? Is there a quick fix to this dire solution?
Well, no. The solutions we will need to employ are varied and multi-faceted. Today we're presenting one solution that you may not have seen coming, connecting with nature.
our gang checking out some natural springs in Utah
The problems we are facing on the earth are not new, they've been building for decades. Since the late nineteenth century, the modern world has been developing into one that aims to be faster, more efficient, and in a place of power over nature. We've developed everything from factories, automobiles, tractors, bombs, pesticides, plastics of all variety, entertainment, and technology all for the sake of progress. Yet few were the people who spoke up to ask what impact these developments would have on the environment. Surely the world's big enough, we can bury our trash in a deeper hole, the ocean is big enough to heal itself if we dump our waste in it... Mankind believed nature to be more resilient than it really was. Maybe that's because we had lost our connection to and relationship with nature that created this distorted perspective.
our kids and their friends check out a ton of baby frogs
Remember high school? Ugh, yes, I know it was lame, but go there with me a second. Remember all of the friends you made? And the not-friends you made? Maybe you had someone that was a friend earlier in life and you two fell apart in high school. Or maybe there was a kid who always went to the same school as you, but you never spoke a word to. Where are they now? Not just casually where are they now on their Facebook Timeline, but how are they really doing? Are they facing any physical or mental health struggles? You probably don't really know, and you don't particularly care.
Think about this in terms of nature. What role has nature played in your life? Was nature like your childhood friend that you grew out of as you developed and found other friends to hang out with? Maybe you always lived in a city and never really connected with nature at all, and you tell yourself that's just because you're a "city boy/girl." Or maybe you're the type of person who formed a deep connection with nature, and you know how it feels, what it smells like, how it's doing, and when something's wrong.
This development away from nature and towards science has led to more people never forming a connection with nature, so they're disconnected from it. They haven't been asking how their choices are affecting the natural world, because they feel like that's a different world than the one they live in. Those people who have really formed a solid, intimate relationship with nature can see what their choices, and the choices of those around them, are doing to nature. They are fully aware of the state of the world and deeply feel the world's struggles. We must further develop this relationship with nature if we hope to be more aware of what's happening, and not continue the cycle of destruction that began so many years ago.
two of our kids enjoying lunch during Nature Group
In most countries these days the default is not to connect with nature, but instead to connect with our ever-prolific screens. Josh talks a lot in the episode about the importance of nature connection, and we've been working slowly on helping our family to transition away from contemporary screen-based living. This year was the first year we joined a homeschool group that is specifically created to get us out of doors for half a day on Fridays. It has been so great. We get outside and let the kids really truly wander and have the space to form a relationship with the world around them. Our family has started the 1,000 hours outside challenge this year, and I don't know if we'll fully reach it, but it will get us outside more as we become more conscious about our time outside. Here are some resources Josh mentioned to help you get outside and connect with nature more...
2) Waldorf Education (google it and dive in)
3) Charlotte Mason Education (google it and dive in)
5) Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young
6) American Experience: Rachel Carson PBS Documentary
Keep on Growing that Connection with Nature!
After subscribing here make sure you check your email and confirm that you really want to be a part of the amazingness coming to your inbox weekly as each podcast goes live.