Maple has really taken a liking to all things crunchy. She crunches her crackers. She crunches her coconut chips. She attempts to crunch her avocado and just makes guacamole. Her favorite crunchy item? Leaves. This girl, if she could, would sleep in the leaves. She prefers twigs to toys and pebbles to dolls. I love seeing her explore with all her senses and imagine myself at this age, curiosity and wonderment abound.
I feel most relaxed when I am surrounded by trees with the sound of gravel under foot and dirt kicked up into the air filling it with the smell of earth. Its nostalgic for me. I think she feels the same way. She babbles more when we are in this environment. She expresses herself with more intensity and assuredness. When we spend time in the dirt, I feel her confidence and energy expanding, enlivening her spirit and essence.
I mean what is she thinking?!
Everything is so big and glorious!
We feel big here! Her and I. We also feel like we are a part of something here. Something even BIGGER than us. I speak for her because she grew inside me, but even if she didn't, if you see the joy on kids faces when they get to go outside, there's a reason they enjoy it so much. It's the same reason we enjoy it. It's what freedom feels like. What space feels like and the nature of exploration. This is where the heart sings.
El Dorado Park Nature Center, Long Beach.