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A place to walk

We are blessed to live in a place where walking is easy.

The streets are bordered by sidewalks in good condition. Traffic is minimal, confined to neighbors coming and going. On weekdays, it’s especially slow-paced.

We have a greenbelt path bordering our backyard. I can look out our kitchen window and see people and their dogs traveling east or west. Sometimes, there are kids on bikes or skateboards.

At the end of our street, there is a park with a large expanse of thick, short grass. On one end, there is a half circle wall, low enough to sit on. There is a metal fire pit and 3 tall totem poles. A small lake stocked with fish, dotted with ducks and geese, lies just beyond.

The sidewalk ends and a dirt trail begins. It veers into cattails and brush, through low branches and throrny bushes. The kids like to take these paths because they are off-road and mysterious. In the spring, many of the plants and trees on the lakeside pop into pink and white blossoms.

I am looking forward to the wild blossoms in a couple of months. Thankfully, there have been a few unseasonably warm days to take advantage of a place to walk.

Most of our walks lately have been just the little ones and me. It seems almost shameful to not walk on the paths we have been given. I am prone to taking this luxury of accessibility for granted.

It is important to me for the kids to grow up having regular meetings with ducks and sticks and dirt and fellow travellers on the paths. Paved or dirt-pebbly, I want to make a point of pausing as often as needed. Rushing may raise my heart rate and make it more of an exercise experience, but now is a time in my life where lagging is okay.

Walk ten feet. Stop. Look. Walk ten feet. Stop. Listen.

If I forced them to keep up with me, they’d always wonder if the goose pecked through the ice or if that stick was actually a dinosaur bone. They’d never be sure if the rushing water of melting snow makes a sound as it plummets into the rusty corner grate and down down down. Splash!

Are the berries good to eat? Never.

But why are they so beautiful?

They remind me of jarred fish eggs.

Is this a good stick to smack the snow? What do you think?

This is our preschool.

This is our classroom.

This is our world.

In less than 6 months, Beatrix will enter kindergarten and she will be gone all day. Most of her hours will be spent inside.

I am so glad I’ve been able to introduce her feet and hands to texture, temperature, ups, and downs. I watch her run and leap and scamper and I am going to miss her so, so much.

11 comments to A place to walk

  • mom

    Nothing can take the place of seeing the world through the inquisitive eyes of a child and Bea certainly has a unique imagination. Thanks for sharing your outing and the pictures. These are truly treasured moments.

  • Love the happy smiling faces you have in your schoolroom!!! Hope you all have a totally fun weekend!!!

  • Melanie

    just what has been heavy on my mind lately- kindergarten- it’s why I stop to play (ironically) school, or babies or bake cookies when I have chores to do. Enjoy the walks and beautiful weather!

  • I’ve always wanted to live somewhere like that, with good places for family walks. We haven’t managed it yet, but maybe someday! Instead, my kids experience stuff like that in my parents’ backyard. They love stomping around “exploring” the woods at the back of the yard, and I love what they learn and discover and imagine.

  • Harmony

    Ooo, I love your header today.

    Bea is a beautiful girl. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy exploring with the little ones, giving ourselves as well as them a chance to slow down, notice and wonder.

  • amy

    Looks like fun. The end of early childhood is like so many things so so bittersweet, luckily I think not so much for the child, but for the parent.

  • Love these photos so much!

  • These photos are just fabulous, so hopeful…


  • So do you have full day kindergarten where you are? Kindergarten for us (Ontario, Canada) is two years–Junior and Senior. Our daughter will go M, W, F for Senior next year and she’s born in 2006. It always interests me how every place is different.

    Love the place you live–looks like country in a village!

  • Love these photos! Your last sentence brings to mind the tug on my heart when Sydney went off to school this year. I still miss her.

    There are few things as amazing as a sunny day and a walk outside with kids. It’s such an education!

  • Hil

    Aw! I am a walker, too. It is a rarity where I live, but my friends always honk and wave as they go by in their cars,”There’s Hil and her girls! Walkin’ someplace!”

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