Relationship has become the center of writing. Over time, I discovered within my stories of relationship, the human connection with nature had also become a constant. In a way our relationship with nature mirrors our relationship with other people. My granddaddy always said, “You can tell a man’s character by how he treats children and animals.” That statement has stuck with me over with the years. How a person engages with animals is a mirror to how they engage with other humans. How I treat those with less power reflects my value system.
I don’t have to be a climate scientist or an environmental researcher to make an impact. As a mom, school counselor, and writer of children’s books, who wants to foster an appreciation for nature in young people, I have learned small teaching moments can make a big impact. It can be as simple as going outside at night and looking up. Watch for bats and talk about they help balance our ecosystem. Take a walk with your kids and count how many different trees you see. Talk about how trees work as the lungs for our planet. Research plants native to your area, and plant those in your yards, community centers, or schools. And it can be as simple as not shrieking when you see a bee, but instead talking about how thankful you are the bee chose your yard! Talk about how bees help keep plants healthy and growing. Sharing nature with our kids at a young age helps them grow up to appreciate the natural world around them. We protect what we appreciate. And our planet is worth protecting like our lives depend on it.
Keep looking up.