Tuesday, September 15, 2015


by Leigh

When I was younger I spent hours outside in my backyard.  If it wasn't pouring buckets or iced over and freezing then I was outside.  My backyard was my safe haven.  It was the place I could go to and get lost in my own imagination…a place of acceptance and comfort.  I vividly remember my sister and I pretending that we had our own cooking show.  We conjured up the most delicious looking mud pies you've ever seen.  A little bit of dirt for the base, some pine needles for flavor and acorns for a little crunch.  We gave step by step instructions in our best french accent (a la Julia Child) as we spent our afternoons outdoors.  Just a step out our back door and we were in a new place….a new adventure.

My parents still live in the house that I grew up in and it just happens to be a couple blocks away from our house.  My children spend a lot of time in the same backyard that I love.  I make up scavenger hunts for them.    Find these things…..bird feather, pink petal, acorn, pebble, rock the size of your palm, leathery leaf, yellow flower, etc…  They race each other to find these items as quickly as they can.  The game never seems to get old and there really is no age barrier as my teenager enjoys it just as much as my four year old nephew.  Watching them climb up the stack stone, test their balance along the brick wall, watch the birds as they bathe in the water, beat the squirrels to the pecans, look for the rabbits underneath the euonymus shrub, find ladybugs among the Black Eyed Susans…. Nature provides endless hours of fun for all of us.  

Even now when I find myself stressed out, out of touch, unbalanced….a walk with my camera in nature makes me feel calm, in touch and balanced.  In nature I find my center again and  I emerge
feeling revitalized and renewed.  

"Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, 
adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher a companion."
~Lorraine Anderson  


Dotti said...

It's been said here before, to keep in touch with nature is to keep in touch with one's inner being. There has been a lot written lately about our need as a society to spend more time outdoors, savoring nature. Whether we take pictures or not, we just need to meditate and soak up the goodness nature has to offer. I love your wonderful childhood memories! And I love that you live just a few blocks from your childhood home. Our daughter and her family live just a few blocks from us and we still live in her childhood home. Family. You gotta love 'em.

Carol said...

You are in the right profession, my dear, and your children are so lucky! This is a gift for all their lives. And BTW, scallions make perfect decorations for mud pies -you can even write happy birthday with them......

terriporter said...

A place that every child (and adult, for that matter) needs -- a place where you can get lost. I don't really consider myself an outdoors woman but I need a certain amount of nature to be happy. I can tell when I've been cooped up too long and just need to get outdoors and breathe. Your photos are beautiful!

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