Today I wish I could have called in grumpy. I was short and snippy and out-of-whack. Unfortunately, I can’t turn off all other parts of my life when I enter the classroom even if that classroom is a magnificent park.

Our last visit to Camp Long was magical and fantastical. This time it took me a while to ease into the beauty of it all. I don’t know if it was just me, or the kids were feeling my mood or if they were just a bit wacky-on-the-junk-of-kid-dom today but their usual “high energy” felt a little manic for the first part of the morning. I felt like I was constantly (about every 45 seconds or so) yelling at the kids ahead on the trail to “COME BACK.” Half of my brain was saying, “They are fine, just let them run – even if you can’t see them.” Then the other half of my brain would come up with, “Michelle, who knows what’s up ahead and are you crazy, you’re responsible for all of them (jeez, I need a pay raise.) The second part of my brain won when one of the paths ended at a road with an open gate – what are they thinking?

Anyway, after the first visit to the pond and lunch, we searched out a new trail and started a scavenger hunt. Then we sat in a circle, held hands and did a little meditating. We listed to the sounds all around us and closed our eyes. We heard birds come closer and the stream that I had previously been trying to get them to hear by yelling over their yelling (that never works if you are thinking of trying it.) When we opened our eyes, the canopy over our heads was so green against the sky and everyone just sat and really took it all in. Then we got our pencil’s and paper and drew what we saw. Well, this did it. I was healed, they were finally into the nature of it all instead of just running by it (which has it’s place as well.) The rest of the day was just as it was our first time out, full of beauty and wonder (although I’m sure it was all beauty and wonder to the kids for the entire day-I’ve learned over the years that my perception and theirs are definitely two different beings.)

I just had to share this since everyone should know that everything isnt’ just roses and cake in our little family. We’re just like a family actually – sometimes mama should just stay in bed!

Here is all the wonder we found today none-the-less…

Rock climbing:

“There is so many mysterious things to find.” ~Harriette

A Mallard Family:

Lily pads:

Finding bugs:

Tree Climbing:

Harriette IS the cat!

The beauty of baby ferns:

Drawing the world around us:

Bleeding Hearts:

Our smorgasbord of treasures. We came across a pond that had dried up and there were frog eggs in the mud, so we carried them to Tadpole Pond.

Asher’s egg collection:

Thank you Kathleen and Koko for helping me out today.