I quit my corporate job to stay at home. We don't stay at home. This is what we do everyday.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Highlands Nature Sanctuary
I sometimes wonder why I live in Ohio. It is far from the beauty and tranquility of the ocean or the mountains. The majority of rivers are polluted so they just seem to lack aesthetic interest to me. We have too many mosquito's to enjoy life outside for July and August- not to mention the humidity.
This weekend we got together with some friends and took the kids out into nature. We rented a place at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. To read about the "hunting lodge" click here. It was an amazing place- lots of trails to hike with beauty one wouldn't expect from Ohio. I was surprised to see the trails so well maintained, and preserved- not to mention the impressive landscape. One of the really great things about the place was the passion of the people that have worked so hard to maintain the land. We were given an inspiring talk by the director (which is given to anyone planning to hike in the sanctuary), explaining how the land ended up in the hands of conservationists.
If you live in Ohio, this is a place you don't want to go another year without seeing. It's only 2 hours from downtown Cincinnati. To read more about the sanctuary click here
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I am always inspired by the impact of nature and the outdoors on children. The lodge was free from TV, radio, phones, computers, video games, and toys that make noise (unless you consider the wonderful organ they enjoyed jamming on). The children brought very little entertainment aside from a few books and puzzles. Instead they made forts, collected leaves, hiked trails, looked for bugs, explored caves and tossed walnuts. Not once the entire weekend did they ask me to buy them something or let them watch a video or take them somewhere. As a parent I felt more "present" with my children; their needs seemed simpler, less fabricated. I too felt more relaxed with the absence of these distractions. Nature calls on us, young and old to be present in its sights, its sounds, its smells, its mystery. What an amazing, unconditional gift nature offers us; we must have the good sense to accept and embrace it.
Thanks so much for the wonderful and inspirational words on nature. We need to make the commitment to get back outdoors on a daily basis with the kids. Even if it's just in the back yard, there is something to be studied there.
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