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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Nibi Walks – what they are and why you may want to participate!

Now and then we are given the opportunity to be a part of something. The chance to be one of the change agents on this planet. I was invited to an event where I got to meet a number of really amazing people who are walking (literally walking) to be change agents, to make a difference on this planet. I participated in a short walk with them and felt inspired (and invited) to join them on a bigger event. Let me share with you a little about these amazing people.

I was invited to a “Water Ceremony” this past Sunday. Upon arriving with my husband and meeting a friend there, we discovered we were in for a real treat. It was a special day and they were having a Nibi Walk as part of this ceremony. I learned that the Nibi Walks started with the the Chief asked the women of the tribe, “What will you do to protect the water?” A woman out of Thunder Bay was moved to walk. Dreamt that she should walk. The first Nibi Walk started with her and she walked around Lake Superior carrying water! WOW! That is dedication!

Our walk that morning was just a short walk, a little more than 15 minutes each way. After making an offering we collected water from the Mississippi. Since I hadn’t brought my own vessel, someone was kind enough to share a vessel with me to carry the water. The women carry the water. The men can walk to support the woman but the responsibility to carry the water lies with the women. It was explained to me that in this indigenous people’s culture, the woman is the creator of life. She is life. The water is life. We cannot live without the water. This is why it is her responsibility to collect the water, to care for the water, to protect the water. This makes sense to me. The woman is the creative life force, the goddess, the bringer of life. We collect the water and walked along while songs were sung in a native language.

I walked with the water, between my friend and my husband.  I was surrounded by a community of people all who I was so proud to be a part of. I felt honored to be welcomed to participate with this dynamic group. August 4th there will be a Nibi Walk along the the Wisconsin River. These amazing women walk about 28 miles a day.  Everyone is welcome to participate, even if they can only walk 1 mile 1 day. The Wisconsin River Nibi Walk concludes on Aug 18th. If I did not already have plans for these weekends I would walk at least one day with them. Next year the walk will be along the Red River. I grew up in the Red River Valley. I feel a kinship to this river. I plan to participate in the Red River Nibi Walk. I already have friend who is planning on joining the cause with me.

Are you available to support either of these walks? I hope you will consider it. If you cannot be there in person perhaps you would like to support them with a donation toward the preservation of clean water. (Click the link if you would like to make a donation) When they asked for donations, they said one of the uses for them would be to get more youth involved in the walks. What a wonderful thing for the children of today, our leaders of tomorrow, to participate in an event like this!

After we walked to the designated spot, we climbed down the bank and returned our water to the river. We then climbed up from the river to walk back and join in the circle for a final part of the ceremony. We came together as a community. We shared our experiences, met new friends and reconnect with those we had met before. I even met a Minnesota House of Representative; Mary Kunesh-Podein. Who was there, not to campaign but to support this important cause. Adventure Sister Emy is also running on a platform that is all about clean water and protecting what we love. Both of these woman need our support in order to be able to make a difference.

I encourage you to do what you can to make a difference, whether it is joining an event, sharing the word about these events, financially supporting an event or a candidate. You have to do what feels right for you.

“To thine own self be true”~ William Shakespeare 

We all need water to survive. Even if all you do is read this blog, share this blog, or learn more about Nibi Walks, you can make a difference.

I love you! Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find and follow your passion, as if by magic.

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