14. Fresh Air

Today, I am thankful for nature. Outdoors. Fresh air. The simple things.

I took my students on a field trip to a local nature station. It is my favorite field trip of the year! It’s a calm, quiet, peaceful one. It is such a great experience for both the students and the adults who attend. The moms who chaperoned had a great time and couldn’t believe how much they learned! The students were enthralled with things other than televisions, cell phones, and video games. They became familiar with various trees and plants and other living creatures. They learned new words like biodiversity, escarpment, and non-renewable. They identified poison ivy, fungi, and soft-shell turtles. And many of them held a snake for the first time in their lives!

I love seeing the innocence return to my students’ faces when they see these “simple” life pleasures, really see them, for the very first time! I also love the renewed sense of minimalism I get when I visit the park. I always walk away reevaluating the needs and wants in my life, thinking of more ways to live simpler! It reminds me what a wasteful society we are and how we all need to play a bigger part in helping to save our earth, reducing the waste that we make by reusing things that we are so quick to throw away and recycling what we can.

Since visiting the nature station last year, I have made so many changes in my life! Visiting today made me realize that there are still so many things that I can change!

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