“We Need the Outdoors” : Final Essays

Welcome to our final installment of essays by children expressing their thoughts and feelings about the phrase “Mother Nature’s Child”.

The following piece by Rose Monahan, age 13, of The Edge Academy summarizes many of the themes they brought forth: “Mother nature should be given more attention then she gets. There used to be entire religions that worshiped her; but now, to most people she is just a ‘thing”. a resource to be used to make money. it shouldn’t be this way. Earth should be recognized for what it is. Beautiful. . Irreplaceable. She brings joy like nothing else in the world. She brings life and pleasure and peace to everyone. Like so much else, if we take her for granted, and waste and ruin her pointlessly, we will lose all we have and all she gave us.

I experience nature in many ways. When I wake up in the morning, I can see the trees and the birds. All day, I can look out the window and see forests and birds. If I get lucky, I see a rabbit or a woodchuck. But, after school is the best. After school, I can go outside for hours. I can run track and and cross country. I can hike and swim and boat and ski. I can sit in fields or roll down grassy hills with my friends. I can just stare up at the sky and think. These are some of the ways I experience nature.

…Mother Nature’s Child is anyone who truly loves nature and the outdoors. Regardless of if it’s raining or hailing or hot or cold, if you love nature during all of that and more, then you are Mother Nature’s Child. Mother Nature’s Child(ren) are the little things in nature. The patterns on butterfly wings, and the buzzing that the bees make. Mother Nature’s Child is everywhere, and in everything we do. We should be protecting her with our lives and singing her our praises of thanks that she has put up with a bunch of humans like us for this long.”

Last but certainly not least, a vivid essay by Mikaela Niemasz-Cavanagh, 16, of the Lake Champlain Waldorf School:

“Silky thread moves undetected and silently in the wind. Its sticky textures hang in the small opening between two leaves, as if awaiting something. The eyes of a creature sit and wait. Hoping that its hard day’s work might come to use, when another falls for its trick. The thread sways as the green leaves rustle in the hot wind of summer; feeding off the hot rays of the sun.

Nearby a bee buzzes, taunting everything in its path. He sails upon the air, with little worries, feeling the power of his stinger. Singing a happy tune of summer, he craves the sweet taste of pollinated flowers. He spots a rosebush, sitting in the sun. He sways in to take a taste of a pink, lively looking flower perched just right beyond two leaves. Buzzing merrily, he looks about, pushing his tiny body forward, and flapping his wings. Pushing forward even harder and faster, he realized his attempt to go faster is purposeless, because he doesn’t seem to be moving forward at all. Scared by this, he flaps wildly about. His body is caught in between the two green leaves, bathing in the sun. He seemed to be floating on the air, caught only by an invisible thread. The watching eyes suddenly turn into legs, and fangs. Fangs which are released swiftly in his yellow and black body. His wings are being quickly tied in towards his frame, making it almost impossible to flap them, despite his efforts. To the bee’s dismay, the spider continues to suffocate him with its silky threads, hardly seeming to notice the bee’s struggles to live.

Sometimes we forget that there is life all around us. Every one of us is a part of nature. creatures, great and small, everyday, fend for life. Any being, living on this earth, is Mother Nature’s child.

Even when not looking for beauty in nature, it is there. There is something so beautiful about the way the spider worked her legs to capture the bee. The way the spider sees the thread, even when I can’t. The spider tying and weaving her web around the bee in  invisible knots, when , to my eye the bee seemed to be floating atop the air.

Nature is not something you can ever escape from, however, people seem to ignore the beauty of it, and avoid it, simply because it sometimes appears smaller than us. It seems more natural to us to see bugs and animals outside, and people are often bothered when they appear indoors. And why shouldn’t they be? Our homes are supposed to be a safe place for only us, a separation between the outside and the inside. But, the truth is, we need the outdoors. We need the fresh air that the trees, and the plants gift to us. We need the hot sun that we curse at for parading through our windows each day. We need it all. And it is all outdoors.”

Again, many thanks to the teachers who offered their students the opportunity to write and submit their thoughts to our website. And especially to the young people who took time to share their views with us. Soon the film will be available and I hope it will inspire many conversations — with our children and with each other.

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