I may never understand fully the thrill of hours spent after school or on a Saturday morning catching frogs in a murky, muck-bottomed pond. The aftermath of wet, muddy sneakers and stained clothes is not a welcomed sight.
Still, I supply the buckets and nets. I listen from the window to the squeals and loud voices. I discern the screams to make sure there are not cries signaling any form of distress. I respond to the invitation to come out and meet “Hoppy,” “Jumpy,” “Skippy,” “Lily,” “Tiny” and “Tom” before they are all returned to their natural habitat. Apparently “Hoppy” is a girl and she can jump the farthest. “Tom,” who is affectionately named after daddy, is “The Frog Prince.” I marvel at the imagination and hours of spontaneous entertainment.
It is really fascinating to watch children at play. To see what is born from freedom, spontaneity and innocence is simply beautiful. To witness how they are able to make use of the simplest of materials. To see their connection to nature. We may not understand or agree, but when we step aside and allow our children to express all that they are, we will begin to see what they have known all along—what we may have forgotten; the wonder, the simplicity, the delight, the surprise, the promise, the magic.
Whether it is catching the "The Frog Prince", raising butterflies or gardening, most activities in nature allow for that connection to the mystery and creative power of the universe. There is no competition or conflict. There are no set goals. There are no worries about making mistakes. There is only pure enjoyment and reverence for the abundant beauty that already exists. When we choose to participate in these creative ventures, we become one with the rhythm and flow of nature. We become one with all of creation.
Love and blessings,
Kathleen O'Malley, DC