Why is it that these days the leaves just fall right past us and we don't bother to look up at the trees and feel the wind as it makes the leaves float to the ground? Have we forgotten to wonder about nature? Is life too busy? How has our being “busy” shaped the way we see the natural world? If we as adults think those moments are trivial… are we passing on, or forcing, that perspective onto our children?
I started wondering about this one day last year when I was at a vineyard with a 2 year girl named Ella. We were walking down a path and I thought about what she was experiencing right then, right there, in that moment. We were watching some leaves dance right by our heads as I held her in my arms. I asked Ella what she heard, because she had such a pensive look on her face. I was just watching her, thinking about the fact that I had to get things done "tomorrow" because I had played hookie to hang out with my boyfriend and his family. However, the look on her face made me curious. She said, “wind.” A light bulb went off in my head. Of course that’s what she hears! We don’t hear it. We hear our minds going a million miles per hour, thinking about bills, about the dirty dishes, about how mean the lady at the grocery store was. We forget to listen and experience what is happening moment by moment. So, I stopped to experience the moment too. I think it is funny how I have to use the words ‘stopped to experience’ that moment, because, why wasn’t I just “in the moment” to begin with?
Why do we carry around an agenda in our mind with all the things we need to do for the day? For the week? Furthermore, if you are crazy busy like me, for the whole month and maybe even next month? In that moment with Ella, when I let go of my mind’s agenda, I was able to listen to the wind, and it was amazing. It was peaceful, it was grounding, and it reminded me that I take moments like that for granted. It was one of the best learning experiences I had that summer. I forever carry that moment with me in my heart.
I wonder how can we cultivate that for the next generation? I want to continue to rekindle wonder in myself as an educator in order to cultivate it in the children that I work with, but most importantly, I want to continue rekindling that wonder in myself as a human so that I can live life in all it's beauty.