Rewild Your Life 30 Day Nature Challenge

by: Sara on 03/25/2014
Posted in: Events

One day last June I picked my son up from afterschool care to take him to the second of his twice-weekly karate classes. He was tired and hungry and didn’t feel like going, but I insisted . I had decided that it was important that he finish what he starts, and that it was equally important to teach him that sometimes we have to do things even when we don’t feel like it. Effectively, I was ignoring an eight-year-old’s plea for some rest. He went to school 5 days a week, as well as before and afterschool care, he had a tutor once a week, two karate classes and gymnastics on the weekend. I’m not sure when his schedule got so busy, but I felt it justified in that he’s a very active boy and needs outlets to get out all this energy.

But on this particular day, he was not going to let me ignore his feelings, however hard I tried. As we got in the hot car to drive the 15 minutes to karate (which became longer due to unrelenting road construction), he reverted to a three-year-old -- he screamed and cried and swore and kicked my seat.

We pulled into the parking lot, both of us exhausted, frustrated and angry. My son took off his seat belt and curled into a ball on the floor.

What was I doing?! Why was I so determined that he go to karate? Was I worried that his absence would reflect badly on me as a parent somehow? But then, would giving in after such bad behaviour teach him that kicking and screaming could get him what he wanted? Or would it actually teach him that I was listening…finally; that I heard that he was tired and hungry and needed a break?

“Buckle up,” I said. “We’re going to the dam.” The Colliery Dam is a nature oasis in our town. Beautiful big trees with birds calling, a freshwater reservoir filled with fish, and acres of trails to wander. We were silent during the drive, and when we arrived at the park and started to walk I noticed the tension drain from both of our bodies. “The trees and plants can talk to us if we just listen,” I said. And we both listened. We reached the water’s edge and rolled up our pants and waded in, we built a bug house out of bits of wood, and just sat and enjoyed the peace. When we left an hour later, my son was a different person. He was laughing and joking, light and airy as the breeze. When we got home his mood lasted, he was helpful, generous and agreeable – in fact, we both were.

My son has now quit karate and is taking parkour once a week. He has decided weekends are for resting and playing in nature, and not for more classes.

I am so grateful that I got out of my own head that day and listened. We both learned the importance of a “nature break” that day, and we continue to value these breaks as an important part of our over all health and well-being.

This  is why I’m so pleased that New Society Publishers is supporting the We are Wildness Rewild Your Life 30 Day Challenge. Join the free challenge to spend at least 30 minutes per day outside in nature for 30 days starting April 1st.

All you have to do is sign up by clicking the link below and entering your name and email. You’ll receive the guidelines and a link to the challenge’s Facebook group on March 31st. Starting April 1st you’ll also receive a daily email with rewilding activities, nature quotes, information and more. 

Click here to join the challenge!

And to sweeten the deal, New Society has donated a variety of books as prizes, so look out for your chance to win. See you outside, wild ones!


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