My kids had the day off from school earlier this week so I took them out to lunch and for a walk in the woods. Lunch wasn't anything fancy, just fast food burgers at Wendy's, but that is what they wanted. The walk in the woods however, was definitely something special.
We went to a state park near us. We have been there before to swim in the pond, but we didn't realize that there are all kinds of trails throughout the acres and acres of land surrounding the pond.
We crossed a little bridge and meandered up a hill. My son was almost out of sight ahead of us. My daughter had to stop to look at everything and climb on everything climbable and I kept stopping to take pictures.
Here he is semi-patiently waiting for us to catch up. It was a gorgeous sunny day and it didn't feel at all like November. We didn't even need jackets. We only saw two other people the whole time we were walking. It was so peaceful. It looked like it was raining leaves. They just kept coming down slowly, swirling all around us. Squirrels and chipmunks were running frantically through the brush and my daughter was convinced if we were just quiet enough maybe we could surprise a bear. I am really glad we didn't! That would be more excitement than I would need on an afternoon walk.
He is still waiting patiently, as you see. He was having more fun than it looks like. He told me the woods is more fun than his favorite computer game so I am viewing the walk as a huge success.
We ended up talking about all the books the kids have read that are about people stranded in the wilderness. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen was one they mentioned. Also The Swiss Family Robinson and My Side of the Mountain. My son loves the idea of being out in the middle of nowhere, having to depend on your own wits to survive.
All in all, it was a very nice afternoon. We will have to go back with my husband before the weather gets too nasty. I think it is good for all of us to get away from the frantic dash of everyday life and just exist for a bit. You can't walk into the woods without feeling more peaceful.