Checking In

"The Mountains are calling, I must go". This is true for me once a week in my current place of residence. The mountains call and we go. Every time we bring a wagon, a hammock and a cooler. Sometimes we bring some kind of tool to facilitate exploration. Sometimes we don't. Recently we got to go to our mountain place twice in the same week. It was a treat for sure. But, the real experience was seeing that in the few days between our visits there was a major flash flood that tore through the area and dramatically changed the landscape. The erosion was real and pronounced. Big boulders had slid down the hillside and landed near the path. Huge logs were tossed hither and thither. Big trees had been torn from their bases and cracked into giant pieces. And there was the remnants of a mud slide sweeping across the area with layers of soil, sand, rock, twigs, bark and pine cones. What had been a trickle of a creek in the late summer a few days prior, was not a babbling brook zig-zaging in all directions. Despite all the new chaos in the area, I felt a sense of renewal and wonder in how much could change in just a few hours. I felt awe at the sheer power of water.

As we explored that morning I kept thinking about how important it is to check in with our natural world often. It changes. Changes that come with the new season. Changes that come as the season progresses. And just changes as weather, circumstance and life forms persist. Changes are constant in nature. 

Then I thought of of my two children as they scampered around, and how much they change every day, month and year. Their change to is constant. Physical changes. Mental changes. Emotional changes. Changes in preference and understanding. Loads of changes.

As a parent to small children we can get caught up in the vortex of it all. We can feel like "this again" (laundry, dishes, diapers, tantrums, stories, music, movies.....). But as we look back we see that it all changes. Sometimes there is a pivot of change and sometimes there is growth that represents the change. But regardless, one way or another this too shall pass and a change will occur. 

Change is in the air in 2020. I think everyone can agree that has been true. If I could think of one thing to impart to my children at this time and place (or year). It's to let nature be both your model and your touchstone. It changes, but it also constant. It can bend in the wind and still stay rooted in the ground. It can weather a storm and come out even more interesting and wonderful. Just keep checking in so you can recognize and appreciate the 

changing seasons as they come and go. Just keep checking in. 

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