My first memorable experience exploring the natural world was most awe-inspiring. I was four years of age and my family lived in an established neighborhood in the city of Chicago. The streets were tree lined and I can remember wanting to be outdoors at any opportunity to see the squirrels and birds that lived in these majestic woods. Every creature had a nest or an entrance into the trees, which was their daily abode for the season. The bee’s even had a hive under our back porch, which was close to my mother’s flower and vegetable garden. You could watch for what seemed like hours as they hovered over the flowers and then back to their hive.
I also remember an uncontrollable urge to dig in the dirt with my mother’s best silver serving set, whenever I found acorns that had fallen from the trees. Her silver-set had a much larger spoon and fork, which made digging much easier for my small hands. You see my grandmother told me these were the seeds that make the oak trees, which lined our streets so, I was determined to grow a huge tree, naturally of course!!
But alas, we moved a year and a half later to the east coast, and I have not been back to this street in Chicago to see if my acorns actually grew into majestic trees. I think about that young girl from time to time, when I am in my own garden holding a spade in hand, the breeze blowing and a myriad of ideas running through my imagination, which makes being outdoors awe inspiring!!!
I do enjoy the flora and fauna of my neighborhood, but from time to time must go to the city to explore the concrete jungle of a huge metropolis. Just being outdoors fills me with the confidence to travel into unfamiliar terrain.