“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” -Rachel Carson, A Sense of Wonder
Kids see nature differently than adults. Often, our own sense of wonder has faded or even disappeared over the years.
If you were fortunate to have access to the outdoors as a young person, you probably have some childhood memories of being in nature.
Recalling our memories of nature from when we were young is a pathway to rediscovering that innate sense of wonder that we all have within us. These memories may be forgotten until you take the time to recall or talk about them.
Give yourself the gift of a few minutes to go sit in nature with a journal and a pen.
Take in the smells, the sounds and the sights. Accessing our senses can evoke memories.
What memories do you have from throughout your life of time spent outdoors?
These may be big moments or small ones. When you reflect on your memories now, do you see any patterns?
How have these experiences in nature affected your life?
Think about 4 memorable outdoor experiences.
Are there certain smells in nature that trigger memories for you?
What sounds evoke memories for you?
If possible, share your experiences with someone to recall what you found wondrous in these experiences.
As Director of Programs, Elizabeth Nelson brings her B.S. in Public Health, her extensive work with trauma survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, and her own experiences of the positive connection and health benefits of time spent in nature into the Parkscriptions program at Recreation Northwest. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder. She has a broad range of experience running her own business and working in nonprofit and government organizations.