The Sense of Wonder.
A Celebration of Nature for Parents and Children
How do you find a deeper connection to nature as an adult?
And how do you encourage children to enjoy and love nature?
The Sense of Wonder gives readers many simple tips in just a few pages. Rachel Carson’s path to a deep relationship with nature is not about scientific dissection and knowing the name of every plant. And it’s not about esoteric mysticism or simply telling fairy tales. Carson’s path is to seek out and find opportunities to experience nature and its beauty.
Many of today’s nature and animal non-fiction books and identification books want to turn children into specialists and little experts. Carson warns of this and recommends to adults:
It is possible to compile extensive lists of creatures seen and identified without ever once having caught a breath-taking glimpse of the wonder of life.
If you are a parent who feels he has little nature lore at his disposal, there is still much you can do for your child. With him, wherever you are and whatever your ressources, you can still look up at the sky – its dawn and twilight beauties, its moving clouds, its stars by night. You can listen to the wind, whether it blows with majestic voice through a forest or sings a many-voiced chorus around the eaves of your house or the corners of your appartment building, and in the listening, you can gain magical release for your thoughts. You can feel the rain on your face and think of its long journey, its many transmutations, from sea to air to earth. Even if you are a city dweller, you can find some place, perhaps a park or a golf course, where you can observe the mysterious migrations of the birds and the changing seasons.
The last sentence:
The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.
The Sense of Wonder is written for adults, but primarily for the benefit of the children entrusted to them, as can be seen in the first paragraph of the book:
One stormy autumn night, when my nephew Roger was about twenty months old, I wrapped him in a blanket and carried him down to the beach in the rainy darkness. Out there, just at the edge of where-we-couldn’t-see, big waves were thundering in, dimly seen white shapes that boomed and shouted and threw great handfuls of froth at us. Together we laughed for pure joy – he a baby meeting for the first time the wild tumult of Oceanus1…
1: Oceanus, name of the ancient Greeks for one of their gods, a leader of the natural beings.
Wouldn’t you like to walk by the sea and through the woods like Rachel Carson?
She became famous for her book “The Silent Spring,” which made her one of the pioneers of the worldwide nature conservation movement.—
What helps every child in their development?
What educators need to be aware of:
…The child must first receive full understanding in the great activity of all that is animistic, to which at this time it is still more open than to that which is spiritual. In this way its eyes will open in joy and purity to the beauties of Nature which it sees around it!
The streams, the mountains, the forests, the meadows and the flowers, as well as the animals, will then become familiar to every child, who will be securely anchored in this realm, which is to provide the field of activity during its sojourn on earth. It will then stand quite firmly and fully conscious in Nature, in the whole world of animistic activity, full of understanding and thus well equipped and quite ready to work with its spirit also, uplifting and furthering to an even greater extent all that surrounds it like a huge garden! Only thus can it become a true gardener in Creation!
From “THE CHILD,” Lecture by Abd-ru-shin
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