Lake week, I took two of my daughters to the wild.
It was the perfect early summer-like day, and I had a full morning with Daisy and Violet, a morning with no errands or chores needing to be done, one of our first days of summer vacation. Lily was spending the morning at cooking camp, and I asked Daisy: "What would you like to do today?"
"Go hiking", she said. "I want to explore the wild." And so we did.
We hiked up the giant hill of our favorite trail, marveling at how different the fields looked from a short few months ago. We hiked past the large broken tree trunks, where we pretended they were moose grazing on the land. We hiked past wildflowers admiring their many colors. We measured our shadows. We hiked over a thick sticky mess of mud, amazed at how the creek has dried up so quickly. We jumped, we skipped, we ran, we laughed.
John Muir once wrote that "one day's exposure to the mountains is better than a cartload of books." I love books, always have, and I am not sure that I could survive without them, but sometimes when I stand at the top of the world, surrounded by the click of insects I cannot see, listening to the thud of my heartbeat and feeling the rustle of wind across my skin, I think that I could not survive without this.
Hiking, I have always called it. Walking, or birding, or nature-journaling, or exploring. A green hour, naturalists now call it, as they encourage parents to connect their children to the outdoors.
Later that night over dinner, Daisy told Daddy about our day. "A whole morning alone with Mommy and Violet. We went to the wild and saw magic."
As our eyes met, with a smile on our lips, I thought, "seeing magic in the wild." That sounds much nicer than green hour, don't you think?