My own time… a “time in”

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The air is crisp, and there are (almost) daily visits of “Jack” frost. The trees are just about completely barren and in town there’s the buzz of holiday excitement. This past weekend we had our first local indoor Winter Farmer’s Market. All the signs indicate the holidays are around the corner!

The end of this week marks the beginning of the Christmas “consumer” season, the holiday parties, cookie baking, travel, decorating…. and the to-do list gets longer and longer. So, here I am to offer a gentle reminder on the importance of simplicity… even in December!

I recently started re-reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and am deeply moved by the words of a fifth grader interview for the book.

“When I am in the woods, I feel like I am in my mother’s shoes. It’s so peaceful out there and the air smells so good. I mean, it’s polluted, but not as much as the city air. For me, it’s completely different there. It’s like you’re free when you go out there. It’s your own time. Sometimes I go there when I’m mad- and then, just with the peacefulness, I’m better. I can come back home happy, and my mom doesn’t even know why.”

For this holiday season, maybe we can forgo some of the craziness of our to-do lists and just retreat into the cool, crisp, soft, woods or any little nature alcove available. Instead of feeling a frenzy and being caught up in the excitement and energy, maybe for a few minutes we can take the time to reconnect with our own inner stillness, just as this wise young lady said… we can have some of our own time.

This season, perhaps the most wonderful gift to give is some time out of time… time to reconnect to nature and the infinite possibilities of a natural experience…. after this is the kind of gift that comes for free!

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Shannon Baer lives in semi-rural Rhode Island with her husband, son and a flock of chickens. She is excited to be a new member of the Green Team here at 5 Minutes for Going Green. Shannon shares her joy of (re)connecting children and nature at her blog Backyard Mama

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