Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Living in a city, I often feel the need to escape, and to find some bit of nature, no matter how small. Luckily, Portland is situated in an amazing part of the country, and we have so much access to wilderness: forests, rivers and ocean. Sometimes, however, we don't have the luxury of enough time to drive an hour or more to seek out these treasures. And on those days, we do the best with what is close and easily accessible. Sometimes that is playing on the bank of a not particularly pristine river, or walking through a wetland surrounded by industry. And sometimes, these little gems in the rough are the best places of all, because you can see, that even amidst human development and pollution, nature still thrives, and is ready to take over the second it is given a chance.
Anyways, the resilience of nature was not actually my intention when I sat down to write this post. Rather, I was thinking of how easily children are occupied in nature. If I bring my kids to the beach or a river, or even to a pile of dirt or rocks that they can dig in, they will literally play for hours. Happy, immersed in their own thoughts. Sticks become props, treasures are found, ideas are discovered. In the comfort of our cozy home, toys that were coveted for months are played with for a few minutes at a time before becoming boring. Others barely even make it out of the packaging. This is not to say that all toys are like this; Finn can (and has) played with his legos for hours on end, and books, markers and stuffed animals are all well loved in our home too. But outside, there is always something to find, something to do, something to explore. So on those days when my kids don't want to go on a hike or for an adventure, I still make them go. And you know what? They (almost) always have fun once they are there.
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