Even though last April I found myself in Paris with a slew of teens on another performance tour (more later), I haven’t blogged about that yet, but keep thinking of the past when my children were so little and open to the mysteries of the natural world. I’ve always been passionate about exploring nature and traveling the back roads to uncover secrets never before seen – at least by my eyes! Not an easy feat with toddlers!! So, in order to satisfy my need for adventure, I began in my own backyard, so to speak. There’s a pond at the end of my street and the hike there is doable for wee ones. Once there, my girls and I discovered frogs and dragonflies, wild flowers and -- lying flat on our backs -- those same things and more in the clouds.
But, it wasn’t until we ventured forth to a local bird sanctuary, that my girls – and later, my son – discovered our love of hiking and biking! We hiked, gazing upon unusual flora, spying more birds than I could name, and skinning a few knees in the process.
“We do it again!” was the favored cry. And so, we did it again and again. The Black River, Harriman State Park, Garret Mountain, North Lake, Bear Mountain, beaches and backwaters, swamps and streams, fish and salamanders. Amazement galore!
We biked along the shore roads and walked through the Pine Barrens. I’d like to think my children became who they are today from an early and almost constant exposure to nature.
But what about now that they are in college, or college bound? I think it’s time for discovery on a larger scale. We are going to grab the bikes and tour the back roads of the left bank -- no, not Rive Gauche in Paris, (although I will retire there!), but the left bank of New Jersey – the one that borders the Delaware River. The plan is to discover small towns and explore as much of the old canal routes as possible while sourcing local cafes, and music venues. At the age the kids are now, history, music, and art have joined nature on the list of things to discover. I’ll let you know how it goes!