Dr. Lomino in China. February 22
February 22: Nature's Treasures
After a day immersed in mystery, I am ready to be grounded on the earth. It is off to the forest again, and the day is filled with happy children’s voices, plenty of running, jumping, explorations and discoveries. Building chicken coops, making clay bricks, and planting in the garden are just a few of the activities for today.
While the children are napping, I decide to go on a silent walk. I want to think and observe. Not far down the trail, I stop to just listen. I hear birdsongs and calls that I’ve not noticed before—because I haven’t taken the time to listen. I am reminded of the importance of silence. This is something I want to teach the teachers during our forest school training sessions, that will begin next week. In silence, we can let nature speak to us. Our world is very noisy, and this is especially so in the middle of a city like Guangzhou. But amazingly, here in the forest, the sounds of traffic and construction are not so intense. The trees and thick underbrush are insulating this little piece of countryside and providing a retreat for the senses.
Stopping here I plan my lessons for Forest School teacher training: I want to help them develop a connection with this place—their home—that will lead to a love of their land. I want to provide some basic ecology lessons that will help them understand all the connections in nature, and of course help them to be really good observers, using all of their senses. But most of all I want to focus on conservation and sustainable living, because these understandings are absolutely necessary to find solutions for the serious pollution problems in China and around the world. We must help our children learn these lessons and become best friends with Planet Earth in all its amazing forms!
Today’s Insight: I believe that being silent in nature is the first step to knowing and loving the earth. We have to listen to its heartbeat—the wind in the leaves, birds and insects singing their songs, and the whispers of billions of organisms busy beneath our feet.