I've recently been reading a couple of books about how to share nature with children and they have made me realize how I've been a bit starved myself of the wonder Mother Nature instills in me. I notice in myself the desire to be WOWed by Nature. I want her to show me something great and new, something spectacular; I'm like a child who clings to her mother claiming she's bored and demands to be entertained even though I'm surrounded by toys. Maybe reading these books has simply brought out the child within.
Last night I lay in my hammock gazing up at the sky, hoping to see the Perseid meteor shower, but to no avail - likely due to Kampala's light pollution. I wasn't shown the spectacle I wanted, but soon, the waxing moon and the few stars that shown through became enough and that wonder began to return.
Today, I turned my attention to the backyard. I took my camera to test out some macro lens extenders and soon became engulfed in common nature - the colors of leaves, the texture of a mushroom, bugs piddling about. And soon the common didn't feel so common anymore. I watched ants in a twig carry eggs back and forth and a bug that I had never seen before landed on my shoulder. I spotted a small spiders web and then noticed its owner tucked under a blade of grass, waiting for the right visitor.
From the great cosmos to life in the backyard, my sense of wonder has been renewed in the last 24 hours - not because I was shown anything new and incredible, but because, as Aldous Huxley reminds us, "discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Books I recommend about sharing nature with children:
The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson (Truly a gem of a book!)
Vitamin N: The essential guide to a nature-rich life by Richard Louv