Monday, November 17, 2008

Hiking with Aja

The other day, I went for a hike with my grand-daughter, Aja. It was our first hike together, and I hope there will be many more between us in the years - dare I say decades? - ahead. She just turned two, and is full of wonder and interest in the world.

The hike was of course short - 0.8 kilometers out and back along a nature trail through a cedar swamp. She wanted to be carried at times, which was fine. She listened to chickadees calling, and tried to imitate them. She shook little trees, calling out "wiggle, wiggle, wiggle" as she did so. She tripped over a few roots, and looked at moss. She felt the needles of the northern white cedar, and looked into a small stream, fruitlessly, for animals. She looked at large holes drilled in dead trees by pileated woodpeckers.

Aja on the trail!

I wish we could all look at the natural world through the eyes of a child. If we did, I think that we would take a lot better care of the earth, our only home, and the only home of all of our fellow species.

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Rachel Carson


  1. Never to young to get started walking and appreciate the beauty around us.
    You are making happy memories for you and your adorable granddaughter!

  2. A beautiful post.....a small child accepting nature for what it is......I can still see the world thru a childs her and will have a wonderful journey......

  3. A wonderful post, and what a precious and adorable grandchild! And you are a wise and precious grandfather to be teaching her about nature at a young age. My grandfather taught me much about nature as I was growing up and I am so thankful for the appreciation of nature & wildlife that he taught me.
    You will be blessed for this, and so will your granddaughter.
    Graceanne Grateful :)

  4. Thanks for your comments everyone. Yes she is a precious little soul and I hope to be a most excellent grandpa for her. I hope she will grow up loving nature and with a strong interest in the natural world. If I can help make that so, it would be a good legacy. We live far apart so I don't see her often enough, but I am grateful for every visit.

    Graceanne Grateful - that is wonderful that you have such good memories of your grandfather.