Nurture Mother Nature
“...when children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.”1
- Maria Montessori - The Discovery of the Child
Maria Montessori saw direct contact with nature as integral to a child’s education. She bucked the inclination of the “civilized man” of her day to fear and distance himself from nature. Instead she wrote:
“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it’s raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass in the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping.” 2
Dr. Montessori observed that “when children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.” Not only do they reveal physical strength and remarkable endurance, but they reveal their innate social-emotional predisposition for compassion, empathy and care.
“Children have an anxious concern for living beings, and the satisfaction of this instinct fills them with delight. It is therefore easy to interest them in taking care of plants and especially of animals… When he knows that animals have need of him, that little plants will dry up if he does not water them, he binds together with a new thread of love today’s passing moments with those of the morrow.”3
Mother Nature does so much to feed, nurture, educate and inspire us. She provides us with absolutely everything we need to survive and, in fact, thrive here on earth. I don’t know about you, but I have certainly relied on nature these past months to restore my soul! She has reminded me how inextricably bound we are and inspired me to seek new ways to support her in much the same way she sustains us. For far too long we “civilized” men and women have taken her for granted and if we are to enjoy many more “morrows”, we too must take up the “thread of love” and work diligently with our children to find creative ways to Nurture Mother Nature, as she has and continues to nurture us.
Montessori, Maria (1967). The Discovery of the Child, The Random House Publishing Group, New York, NY, p.69.