Fostering a Love of Nature in the Younger Generation

This weekend my husband and I met our daughter and granddaughter on the North Shore of Lake Superior. There are so many lovely views along the way. Majestic Lake Superior, beautiful waterfalls, and forests all make for an enjoyable day surrounded by natural beauty. Our granddaughter is 5 years old and a smart little girl with a naturally inquisitive nature, that made this day even more special.

As we voyaged along the North Shore, we made many stops. The first was at Gooseberry falls and the last was at the Temperance River. The paths were covered with snow, slush and ice from the recent April blizzard we had. But that didn’t stop us. That little girl was always excited to get out of the vehicle to see what new experiences this stop would bring her, what new path to trot down and what new sights to see. It was such a joy to watch her as she darted here and there. I could see her falling in love with this area of the country that I love so much.

Our other grandchildren love the outdoors just as much. They enjoy playing outside every chance they get. They love to hike down paths through the woods, are excited about upcoming camping trips, and enjoy getting to see the wildlife that are part of these types of adventures. Fostering this type of love in our youngsters does a couple of things. It helps them and it helps the planet.

It helps them by giving them an escape, that we all need sometimes. They learn that the world has so much to offer. There is more to life than just the TV and tablets. They learn that fun, as well as peace, can be found by getting out into nature. Helping them develop a love of nature at a young age gives them an opportunity to develop several coping mechanisms as they age. Going hiking and camping, are parts of my life, that help me during tough times. Paddling a Kayak down river, after a stressful day, helps all the tension melt away. When we introduce children to these things at a young age, it gives them more for their tool box as they age.

It helps the world by producing more people who will want to protect it. They are less likely to take actions in the future that could cause harm to the planet, when they see how special the natural world is. When they fall in love with Mother Nature and all she has to offer them, they are more invested in taking care of her. They will not all become tree hugging hippies but they may become responsible with their trash, recycle, or choose products with packaging that is earth friendly.

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Just as our little granddaughter had a blast exploring the beauty around us, I enjoyed watching her fall in love with the earth. Do you have children in your life? what kinds of things do you do with them out in nature? I would love to hear about your adventures with little ones. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you enjoy the world of nature with any little ones in your life, as if by magic.

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A Story of Adoption… My Story

When I was young I got pregnant. This was during the time in my life that I lovingly refer to as my ‘evil rebellious years’. I would fight with my mother for  just the sake of fighting and, of course, thought I knew everything about life. I was no longer living in my parents home for precisely these reasons. When I first realized I was pregnant, I was very happy and excited. I went shopping with a friend and bought a teddy bear that was wearing shorts with neon green smiley faces for this little spirit that was growing inside of me. I also ran into an ex-boyfriend’s Aunt shared with her my excitement. She one of the very first people who knew I was pregnant.

It didn’t take long, however, for me to come to the realization that my life was not conducive to raising a child and providing her with a life, I felt, she deserved. I had no job at the time. I was living on a friend’s couch. The future did not look bright. I had to make a very hard decision and I decided to place my baby for adoption. 

That same ex-boyfriend’s Aunt and Uncle had not been able to have children together. I called her and asked if she would raise my baby. I really think I shocked her. It is not the kind of call you expect to get. My mother was worried about having someone I knew adopt my baby and asked me to talk to an adoption agency. I did as she asked but it was not a good experience. They actually made threats that if I gave my child to someone of my choosing they would have me charged with child abandonment. What a terrible thing to threaten a 18 year old girl with. I was just trying to do the right thing for this little life that had been created by my actions. 

Lawyers got involved and the Aunt and Uncle started the long process of home studies to prove they would provide a safe and loving home for this little soul. I can not speak to everything they went though, in order to adopt this baby, as I was quite a bit removed from the process but it was a lot.  

From the time I was 3 months pregnant, I thought of this child growing inside me as their child. I am not sure I could have gone through with letting her go if I had not. When she was born, her mother was at the hospital. They were kind to me at the hospital, putting me in a private room just outside of the maternity ward. During my stay, her mother would come and spend time in my room with her. I remember one morning a well meaning nurse brought the little one into my room for me to give her a bottle. My only guess as to why she did this was because she thought I might want to keep her if I fed her. What this nurse could not have possibly known is that I did want to keep her. I would have loved to have taken her home with me, but I knew I could not offer her the life she deserved. 

When I was released from the hospital, her mother drove me home, dropped me off and left with her. It was the first time in 9 months I had been without her. It felt so strange. I will be forever grateful to her mother for doing what I could not do. She loves her, made sacrifices for her, and raised her to be a remarkable woman. I am so proud of the amazing person she has grown to be. 

Her mother kept me informed about her life, invited me to events, and allowed her to spend time with my grandparents. I was so amazed in her love and unselfishness. I love her for this. 

When I share this story with others they open up with their own stories of placing children for adoption, being adopted, or other adoption stories within their own family. Adoption touches far more people than we realize. I am not embarrassed by my choice to place my baby with a different Mom and Dad. They gave her a better life. It was a decision I made out of love. Just as their choice to welcome this little soul into their life was also made out of love. 

And the story continues -> My Daughter’s Mother… Dotties Story (An Adoption Story continued)

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your past choices made from love give you peace, as if by magic. 

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Muddling Towards Enlightenment

I have seen Spiritual teachers, leaders, and athletes be put up on pedestals, when in truth, they are all just human beings muddling through this life, best they know how. Once they fall off that pedestal though, society judges them harshly. How do we all be the best version of us, without putting ourselves or each other, up on those pedestals and resulting judgment? One way, I hope to accomplish this, is through my blog, books, and intentions. I want my words to encourage others to do what they thought they couldn’t do. I want everyone to be able to live their dreams. I feel so blessed to have a magical life and want to help my fellow voyagers, in this journey called life, to find that same power within themselves.

I have been asking myself these questions lately:

  • Do I practice what I preach?
  • Do I seek to understand?
  • Do I jump to conclusions?
  • Do I judge things with without knowing the whole story?
  • Do I follow my own advice?
  • Do I judge when I should instead send love?

A couple recent situations have caused me to look inside myself (deeply) at how do “I” make sure “I” am being the best me I can be. Let me share them with you.

The first happened when my very wise daughter brought something to my attention. I have taught my daughters and they are, in their own right, very wise souls. We were traveling together recently and I received some very frustrating and concerning news that could have had some very poor outcomes. I immediately began to worry about all the “worst” case scenarios. Stressed and talking about what I “thought” was going to happen. In all, I was painting the picture of what I didn’t want to happen. I was talking about it over and over again. My daughter calmly said to me, “Well, I am going to keep my thoughts positive”. “I am going to imagine it working out”. She had to tell me this a couple of different times along the journey to remind me to follow the same advice I so readily dish out. I am grateful that she was brave and wise enough to call me out on my negative thought pattern. It can be very difficult to bring this to someone’s attention when they are being negative. I am so glad she practices what I preach. It was a good reminder to work on myself continually. It is important to keep positive and paint the mental image of what we want to happen. In the end it all worked out.

The other situation happened this morning. I read a post written by one of the EMTs working along the Mexican border. He shared a very different view about the people who are working there and separating child from adults. Yes, I think the act of taking children from their parents along the border is horrific. It hurts me to the deepest level of my being. I am shaken by the thought of the horrors those child have and may in the future see.  But… is there 2 sides to every story? Yes! Does the truth lay somewhere in the middle? Yes! My mom used to say there are always at least 3 versions of the truth. My version, your version, and then the truth. Do I jump on the bandwagon of the popular thought without studying and learning what is really happening in order to form my own opinion?  It is frustrating that we cannot trust our news to bring us unbiased reporting. We cannot even be sure that some agenda is not being pushed or that some story is being used as a distraction to hide something else that is going on. I do not think there are any straight answers to some of these hard questions. All I can do is follow my own advice and send the purest, highest intentions to the children and their families who are so desperate for a better life that they are willing to risk everything to cross the border. I would like to see the suffering of all people end. I seek to try and understand others motives for doing the things they do. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” ~ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. People may have very good reasons and the purest intentions for doing the things they do but that doesn’t always make them right. Still it is not my job to judge them but rather to send them love. It is my job to be the best “me” I can be and to send love to the whole world, not judgment.

I appreciate everyone who has and is walking this journey with me. I appreciate those who are not afraid to tell me when I am not following my own advice. Let’s all try and be the best version ourselves today.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you be the best version of yourself, as if by magic! I love you!!

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