Ever Since my son took his first baby steps out into the world, I showed him the sacredness of all nature. I also helped him to discover his own unique connection to her - mother earth.
Today, I was going through old image files on my external drive when I came across these artworks from 2009. Six years ago when my son was just 8 years old, we created these pieces from litter we found as we were taking a walk.
We had just moved to a small city, after living way out in the country. Everything was a new experience for him. As we walked he started to notice the litter that lay on the sides of the road and, occasionally on the sidewalk.
When we cut through a parking lot of a chain drug store he suddenly stopped and asked, "Why is all this garbage everywhere? Why can't they just throw it away? There are garbage bins right there!"
What do you say as a parent? How do you explain the literal dissociation of people to the very thing that gives us all life? So, I said, "Why don't we set an example? Let's pick up as much as we can while we are here."
I went into the drug store and bought a couple of waters, and asked for an extra bag at the checkout. We began picking up pieces of plastic, wrappers, and other miscellaneous items (it is amazing what you find trying to clean up a parking lot!).
My son had wandered a bit over from me and as I looked I found him kneeling and looking intently at something on the ground. When I walked over I seen that he had been arranging bits of things that he had found. "Look! I'm making a boat", he explained as I walked up.
So I brought out more pieces from my own bag and continued with the litter sculpture together.
I loved watching his creative mind at work as he placed and replaced pieces. I noticed how he had an eye for flow an movement. How he walked around until he found something red. Because "you always need at least a little bit of red."
We continued on for two more works of art and then I pulled out my little point and shoot and took these photos of each one. It was a great life learning opportunity. Not only did we do a little to help clean up junk and set an example to any who saw us that day, but my son was also able to incorporate creative thinking.
As I sit here tonight, looking back from that day to this I feel a sense of joy, as a mother that those first teachings, in his youngest years, have stayed with him. I feel a sense of hope that he, among many young people, will go out into the world with a deeper perspective.
What are your experiences with your children and the environment?