It’s been awhile. And a lot has gone on. A trip or two and some woods and hikes and fishes and great raging swarms of mosquitoes and in the end I find myself lagging far, far behind in penning my thoughts here, in this forum. Why, I wonder…and I largely think it’s due to tedium, and maybe having nothing to say..other than what I believe, which seems sometimes better left unsaid. Or shared only in more quieter, less populous spaces. And with those you love.
Of course it’s all that, and not that at all, which seems to be the point. Again and again.
It could also be that life happens. Life happens, and patterns you’ve put in place for yourself, intentionally or otherwise, either replicate themselves accordingly, carrying you along is a predictable stream, or a variable imports itself and the equation comes undone. So, I got a new job, and I’ve been busy with that (which is good) and the time I have to spend, when broken down between family and friends and time spent outside in gardens or woods, leaves little for the tap tapping of syllables into the
I’ve been tasked, if you can call it that, with making some serious outdoor learning stuff happen (and algebra). As serious as can be on a square block that’s mostly concrete with some smatters of trees and green thrown in between. And then the privilege of field trips to the forest preserves and, I hope, some of the places that I’ve come to enjoy and love over this past year.
The blog’s a year old now, by the way, and I’ve learned a lot this year. Enough to realize how much more I need to learn. A lot. But beside what I’ve learned, and learned that I need to learn, the time that I have dedicated to being out and about, and sitting around, has been transformative. Not that my life has changed, because it hasn’t; but then, it also has. I haven’t kept scrupulous records of how much time spent, but with a recent revisit to the Porkies last month, I think I can safely say that I’ve logged at the very least a week and a half of steady nature time all year. A week an a half meaning 200andsomeodd hours. That’s not bad, and it could be more. I really don’t think less, and that’s not including messing around in the garden. That seems significant.
I’m going to make an effort to keep this up. It seems worth it. I walked around the block with 5th and 6th graders last week and asked, “What is nature, really?” as one of my students phrased it. Wondered if it’s possible to have a healthy environment for human beings, but an unhealthy environment for other beings…meaning, are these environments we consider healthy for ourselves really so, or has our conception of environmental health become so diminished that we can’t even tell the difference? And then, misunderstanding the word biodiversity, someone came up with the idea of ‘biodiscrimination’, which is fascinating to me. Think monocultures.
So, that’s that. Here’s a picture that I like.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) – A US Government Environmental Health Resource (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Teachers encouraged to embrace outdoor education (yha.org.uk)