We spent the weekend with my son and his family in Vermont. Before heading home we took the kids on a short walk on a nature trail not far from where we were staying.
I get excited about these walks because it gives me the opportunity to share my love of the natural world with my grandkids. There is too much of a disconnect these days between our species and the natural world that spawned us and of which we are a part and parcel. The spiritual nourishment it provides aside, our survival depends on it. Yet, we blithely mine its generosity and abundance as if its bounties were infinite and inherently sustainable. I have no doubt that nature will win any battle we wage against it. Nature might take on different characteristics and behaviors, but it will always win the day. Its adaptive powers far out man ours.
I did not hit the trail with these thoughts in mind. Rather, I headed out, my grandson Grant holding my hand, knowing that even on a short walk in the Vermont woods there would be lots to see and feel and wonder about. Just a few feet into the trail my grandson looked up at me and said, “Pops, we need to watch out for stuff.” By stuff he meant, well, stuff. And stuff we found.
At one point he asked if there were any bears in the woods. Well, I said, there probably are but I did not think we would see any. He agreed that that would be a good thing. A little while later he wondered allowed if, well, we might see a cheetah. I pointed out that they live in Africa and that his grammy and I were lucky enough to see one way off in the distance while crossing the Serengeti in Tanzania several years ago. We agreed that had to have been ‘cool!’