The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. ~Anne Frank
Wild Days. Nature Days. Just getting out to a local park and walking and talking and observing, in spite of, because of, the cold and dreary winter morning.
I am ‘a grown-up’ with responsibilities. I am a wife, a mother of seven, a daughter, a church member, a friend, a volunteer, a teacher, a housekeeper, and so on. I am so many things that I begin to lose who I am. Lists suck away at my soul. Yet the lists become longer. I rush about frantically, like a wild thing, trapped. But the trap is of my own making. I want to be all of those things. I just need a little space to remember why I have chosen them. I need a window and a breath of sea air. I need a door to go out, so I can come back in again.
So when days are wild, I grab a journal and pen and head out the door. I leave behind the phones and buzzers, beeps and lists. I tell my children and parents, friends or husband, “I’m going crazy; you come too.” So we go to some wild place to watch the clouds, the river, the birds, the blossoms, the wildlife. It’s like coming home. Home to the planet where I was born and where I grow. A place where my body can rest while my spirit soars. I have with me my loved ones, my thoughts, an open heart for discovery, and my journal to record my wild days. I bring my journal to capture these golden moments: the sudden stillness of a deer watching, the smell of rain in the pines, the songs of hidden birds, my bigger children helping the smaller ones to cross a stream, the taste of sun-filled wild blackberries. I record these in my journal in words and pictures. They will feed me on darker days. Karen Rackcliffe, "Wild Days"
Okay. I took my mobile phone on my Wild Day. I texted. And I didn't grab my journal but my camera, for my online journal , in other words, for my blog and for Facebook.
But the principle remains the same. Every child, every teen, every person needs a Wild Day, a nature day, now and then. An approach to self education, inspired by the educator Charlotte Mason, based on observation of and recording of and learning about nature. With, perhaps, the introspection of journal writing. Or the self expression of art. A curriculum almost in itself. Perhaps.