The story of English in Nature began the moment I realized how unusual my childhood experience of spending most of my time out-of-doors had become…
This moment was preceded by countless hours I’d spent from season to season watching trees, flowers and grasses grow, coastal tides ebbing and flowing, observing and communing with animals, from megafauna to microscopic, building shelters with scrap wood and discarded nails, learning to smell the wind and the coming weather, meeting new landscapes everywhere I went and how the changing array of inhabitants reflected the geology below ground and the climate above. It comes also from watching and helping my parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and neighbors as they spent their time making, building, fixing and growing things.
After working a few years as an educator, I’d realized that these childhood years of mostly unstructured outdoor activities and play counted equally as time invested in serious learning.
But, what was that even worth, when so many others never got to experience any of this?
Being outdoors, exploring, using or making tools in order to make or fix things, or to be spontaneously inventive, was just part of my early life.
It felt super empowering having these skills, and tools, and knowing what to do with them. It still does!
Stories have a power of their own. Often we have to experience things for ourselves before we can understand, but stories do help a lot. For this reason, the resource library will include as many stories as possible.
A large part of what I know about seeing and respecting the beauty, power and wisdom of nature I learned through my grandfather’s stories. Some were the kinds of things you can’t really explain simply, or scientifically.
From a young age, I learned to see “Mother Nature” as our greatest, wisest teacher, well before I ever realized that few other “modern” people were as lucky.
You could even say that, out of a kind of sense of duty, my mission thus became finding ways to give this same chance to as many other people, of any age, as possible.
Began in 2014, and is still in the making! Another post will be coming soon!