Monday, September 6, 2010

Communion and Connection!

I read something this week that sparked my imagination and got me reflecting on the way in which today’s proliferation of social media, screen time, and constant connecting affects our deeper ability for communion and connection, with each other, and with the larger community of life.

The article, by David Spangler, alluded to him asking his daughter why she didn’t just call her friends instead of constantly texting them.  She replies sweetly,
“If we called each other, we’d have to have something to talk about!”
David responds, “But aren’t you talking to each other when you’re texting?”
“Oh, no”, she replied. “we’re not talking, we’re connecting.”  

The article continues with Spangler exploring the difference between communication for the purpose of conveying information and communication intended to create communion and to build connection.  You can read the full article at David's Desk.

In the face of such formidable and alluring competitors as the Internet, the cellphone and the video game, (not to mention the TV!), how can we re-ignite in children a sense of communion and connection to nature?  Basically, it’s going to take a lot of work, commitment and determination on the part of parents, teachers and grandparents!  Something that was once just a natural part of life (kids playing outdoors), has morphed into a scheduled activity!  The good news is that there are some wonderful resources to help you back onto the path of re-discovering the outdoors with your children!

Here are some Blogs and websites that I've found along the way that you might find helpful!

Teacher, Juliet Robertson’s Blog “I’m A Teacher, Get Me Outside here!” has some wonderful ideas!
Beth Almeras is The Grass Stained Guru and she shares lots of fun tips for immersing kids in nature!
The  Children & Nature Network  provides plenty of information as well as reminders of why it's so important for us to reconnect our children back to nature.
Out Bound Family provides fun ideas for family activities - a useful resource
Eartheasy – provides solutions for sustainable living has some very useful links to environmental websites for kids.

Songs! Well, of course it being my blog, I am bound to recommend a song or two to sing as you meander down the garden path! I Saw Butterflies Kissing Today, is a favorite, and it names lots of critters you can look out for along the way!
Stories! A short break on your hike provides the perfect moment for a story!  Here’s an easy one to learn that reminds us that each of us carries within the beauty of the universe: The Stars Inside

I am not able to write as many posts as before since I am working full time on producing a new half-hour Curious Kids TV Show for WGCU Public Media (  There is a wealth of useful information and links in the archives of this Blog; I urge you to take a look.  I will be releasing my new CD and launching a companion website very soon, so stay tuned and thanks, as always for taking the time to read and share this Blog.

Have fun communing and connecting with/to this beautiful Earth!
In gratitude for life.
Photo by Chip Hoffman


  1. Excellent article, it's such a shame that children today are so disconnected from nature. And often when they're learning about nature its through tv shows, which excellent though they may be, put everything at one remove.

    I love the idea of using stories to help children connect with nature - have you read Ted Hughes' three books of creation stories? How the Whale Became is the first one. Beautiful stories for children but adults can enjoy too, that really help instil a sense of wonder and curiosity about nature.

  2. This is a really thoughtful post Rosie. I hope many more people read it. Thanks for mentioning my wee blog.

  3. Thanks to both of you for your comments! Two Juliets!! Thats pretty cool! Thanks to Poet Juliet for the reference to Ted Hughes - I will definitely check his books out. I love storytelling and have always found children connect to the images that are evoked as they listen! Something sorely lacking today is time for kids to nurture those fertile imaginations - its all drawn our for them on the screens. Nothing like a walk in the forest to fire up the creative cells!