One of our favorite family activities is to turn our afternoon walk into a treasure hunt. As we stroll around our suburban neighborhood, Selby and I scout for bits of nature that we can add to our basket of treasure. Today was a particularly gratifying hunt: amidst our collection were flowers, various seed pods, acorns, a few fall leaves (most of the leaves here in Florida stay green), a feather and windborne seeds. After we completed the loop, we sat down on the driveway with our basket to examine our loot. Selby shook the seed pods and cracked some open to get a look at the insides. Sage waved leaves in the air and taste tested the flowers.
These "nature walks" are some of my most treasured times with my children. My eyes, completely focused on a great find, don't see the houses, the mailboxes or the paved road... they see leaves blowing in the wind, scatterings of acorns, scampering squirrels and curled-up bugs. My eyes see, for a short while, more like a child. For this, I am so grateful.