Nature’s Awe And Wonder

Nature's awe and wonder: A bee or wasp on a green leaf is about to alight. There is a quote from Henry David Thoreau: nature will bear the closes inspection.

What Happened To Awe And Wonder?

Have we lost the art of being captivated by the natural world?  Nature’s awe and wonder is there for all to see, we need to take the time to look.  Henry David Thoreau was quoted as saying:

‘Nature will bear the closest inspection.’

A group of boys looking in the dirt at an earthworm during a Forest School session.

What It Looks Like

We need to recapture a sense of nature’s awe and wonder.  That means getting closer and looking longer.  Here’s some ways we can do it on a day to day level:

  • Scooping a handful of dirt to watch an earthworm wriggle and writhe. 
  • Captivatingly locked on floating butterflies as they dance like boxers round the  woodland. 
  • Gluing our eyes on speedy squirrels agilely scrambling up a might oak tree.
  • Peering at bird nests perched high in the trees through a pair of binoculars.
  • Focusing on a wasp or bee alighting on a nearby colourful flower for a fleeting moment.
  • Transfixing ourselves on a clattering of Jackdaws floating like a wave on a tempestuous wind.

A Speckled Wood butterfly perched on a green leaf.

How To Recapture Awe And Wonder

Kids relish opportunities to look at bugs and slugs, often in preference to handling them.  That’s ok.  What they do need are affordances to facilitate close up encounters and the time to enjoy them.  Sadly, in primary education, time is a fleeting resource.  Additionally, children require adults who can show them the way and point out the wonderful amidst the seemingly ordinary.

This is part of our work at Among The Trees.  Through our Forest School sessions and learning outside the classroom, we strive to provide opportunities to wonder at the natural world and see the incredible movements, life and processes that take part, right before our very eyes.  If we put down our screens, take ourselves outside and begin to observe, there is a whole array of life to captivate us.

When was the last time that you were captivated by nature’s awe and wonder?  How about your children?

Looking for some inspiration?  Try this video on monarch butterflies swarming.

Next, get outside and be sure to take your children!  Your garden or the local park are great places to begin.  After that…it’s up to you!  Let the natural world blow you away.

If  you’re in primary education and want to know more, we’d be happy to have a chat about how we can fuel nature’s awe and wonder in your school or setting.

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