Exploring Through Nature

Mother earth provides not just life but inspiration and connection especially during our childhood.


| January 2018


Embrace family life with creativity at its heart. The Creative Family Manifesto (Roost Books, 2017)  is a guide to using the simple tools around you—your imagination, basic art supplies, household objects, and natural materials—to relax, play, and grow together as a family. When you learn to awaken your family’s creativity, wonderful things will happen: you’ll make meaningful connections with your children, your children’s imaginations will flourish, and you’ll learn to express love and gratitude for each other. This book is just what you need to get started.

There’s no greater source of creative inspiration, beauty, and art than the planet we live on. Nearly every artist will tell you that they draw great inspiration from the natural world—from the beauty in the falling leaves of a forest to the way a child’s toes dig into the sand. As adults, many of our favorite childhood memories are connected with spots in nature—a walk in the woods behind Grandma’s house, a neighborhood tree we climbed often, or a tree house we escaped to. Nature can be both our inspiration and our meditation. It can be a way that we connect with the earth and ourselves and, through that, find our creative spirits and energy.

I don’t think there is anything more beautiful or inspiring to me than watching children just be in nature. When they are able to be free in their environment—free in mind and free in spirit—their inherent sense of connection to the earth is strong and alive. As a parent, I feel blessed and inspired to watch this process unfold throughout their childhoods.

It is important not only to spend time outdoors, but to bring the outside in as well. The things we surround ourselves with have

a great impact on how we view our world. This is particularly true for our children, for whom everything is new and fresh. The beauty of the world around us—the changing color of the leaves on the trees, the smoothness of rocks at a beach, the acorns left behind in autumn—all of these objects are full of beauty and inspi­ration. Being around and in the natural world as much as possible should be a primary goal of childhood. But while that’s not always possible (we all need to come inside and sleep most nights, don’t we?), it is possible to bring a bit of the outside into our homes and, in effect, into our hearts and souls all the time.

The activities in this chapter are focused on our children and the creative ways in which they can and do connect with the natural world around them. I’ve also included ideas for incorpo­rating the changing seasons within your home so that you can remember the outside world once you’re inside.

Finding Your Spot

I believe it’s important for everyone to have connections to a “spot”—or preferably, many—in our natural world: a special spot where you feel grounded in yourself and connected to the earth; a spot where you find peace and inspiration; a spot that brings you joy and peace in times of stress, sadness, and confusion; a spot you can conjure up mentally and emotionally, even when you’re not actually there.





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