Children Have Their Say

Many thanks to the many students who responded to our essay request last spring about what the term “mother nature’s child” means to them. We received essays from four Vermont schools: Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, The Edge Academy in Essex Junction, The Pomfret School in South Pomfret, and the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Charlotte. The youngest author was a fourth grader, the eldest a high school sophomore. Their thoughts are honest and refreshing. Our appreciation goes out to the teachers who brought this exercise to their students in the final busy weeks of the 2009 – 10 school year: Mariann Thompson of Dothan Brook, Lindsay Halman at The Edge Academy, Rob Hanson at The Pomfret School. Our final essay was submitted by a lone student from The Lake Champlain Waldorf School.

Student at The Pomfret School journals at his "Power Spot"

We will share excerpts from many essays in order to convey the repeated themes that emerged and the wonderful range of expression. We’ll devote multiple blog posts to these perspectives.

Twelve year old Amanda Reardon from The Edge Academy introduced several themes in her essay:

Nature is everything.

When you wait for the bus every morning you may not realize it but you’re standing in nature.

When you watch a bird fly past you’re watching nature.

When you hear a tree rustle you’re listening to nature.

When you’re walking in your school hallways you’re walking in what used to be nature.

Open your window right before you go to sleep, let the frog and crickets singing put you to sleep. Then wake up the next morning to the beautiful melodies of the morning birds singing.

Look out your window you may see sparkling drop falling from the sky landing in shining silver puddles. Or maybe you will see bright rays of sunlight beaming down on the lime green leaves of a gorgeous oak tree. Maybe even possibly you will see shimmering white flakes falling from the clouds landing gently on the grass.

Nature is where you can explore things where you can run around without being yelled at. You can run and jump, cartwheel, play games or maybe just lie in the grass and cloud gaze, do anything it’s called… Freedom.

There is so much you can do outside that you can’t do inside. And there are so many things that you haven’t explored, discovered or done yet. So it’s time to get outside and explore!

Go for a hike in the beautiful forest. Listen to the birds sing, watch the wildlife. Find a stream, maybe skip pebbles, and hop across the water on stepping stones, then just splash around or maybe just sit and look around. Watch everything around you carefully and soon you will wonder why people hurt such a peaceful, beautiful place. Maybe they should just do what I’m doing and take in all the beautiful sights and sounds of Nature.

Fletcher Ambrose, from The Pomfret School, chose to focus on the word ‘mother’:  “Our mother is our mentor, our mother will always take care of us, our moms will fight us, but still our mothers never hold grudges, moms can be cruel and forgiving, mothers will teach us, or help us. We  were born from nature. Nature will always take care of us, giving us sun light, water, warmth in the cold winters, cool refreshing streams in the hot summers. Mother Nature will fight us, bringing us floods, blizzards, hurricanes. Mother Nature never holds a grudge. She is cruel but forgiving. She can teach us to take care of ourselves…. We were all born from nature and we will all die back into nature.”

Pomfret classmate Charlie Bollinger understands nature in the broadest sense:

“I experience nature everywhere.

Indoors _ Walls, ceiling, house. The potted flowers each petal colorful and cheerful like a fish in the blue milky seas. A fish tank sits sparkling with diamond like fish, each a gem in the filtered water.

Outdoors – Fallen leaves cracking and crunching beneath the feet of all mammals. Brookies in brook and white tails gnawing at the white bark of the beech tree. With every scrape the tree is dying. Some trees fall to help the dark brown flesh of the earth. Others stand tall living forever until maybe fated to make a little nature by the fireplace indoors.

I experience nature everywhere.”

Stay tuned to read children’s thoughts about nature and freedom.

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