Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Call of the Wild

"When I see birches bend to left and right...I like to think some boy's been swinging them" - Robert Frost

Although I grew up on the south shore of Long Island, the one place that truly felt like home to me was NYC and that is where I lived virtually all of my adult life until now. Even so, I knew all the really cool secluded spots in Central Park (still do) and was a bit of a renegade gardener, collecting any discarded plant pot that I found on the sidewalk and bringing it up to my roof.

The roof of my Sullivan Street flat quickly became an urban jungle. I learned to harvest my seeds for the following year, and by trial and error, became familiar with what was most suitable for a hot city roof top.

There was the corn experiment, which provided great privacy, but only produced "baby corn" (ok, baby corn just freaks me out); tomatoes that were stolen by smart city squirrels faster than I could pick 'em and potted strawberries that I ate in one sitting. I liked to have my morning coffee on the roof, sitting in a low vintage metal chair so that the wispy cosmos towered over me. In the evening, the scent of "four o'clocks" made the chore of two waterings a day worth the effort. I've always lived near a body of water. As a child it was the Great South Bay, and Atlantic Ocean. All three of my NYC flats were near the Hudson River. In spite of my need for the urbane, I find myself drawn to nature.

Satch and I took a stroll on the uplands trail that runs along a winding stream to Barnes & Noble to buy the new Bjork cd and so I could sneak a peek at, "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. While Satch played with the train table, I began reading the introduction and it really resonated with me...I was having a hard time putting it down so I bought it. The author points out that for most American kids today, natural play is being replaced by nintendo, and dvd players etc...and although they are taught about nature and global threats to the environment, their connection to nature and experience with nature is fading. I can't help but think how sad this is as a good part of my own childhood was spent romping around in the woods, climbing trees, and wading in icy cold streams. I urge you to read this book, and join the "No Child Left Inside" movement.

As we left the book store, I thought how fortunate we are to now live in an area that is surrounded by nature, yet close to two sizable cities. The sunlight pierced the canopy of leaves high above us in milky white spears and the only sound we could hear was the rustling of my footsteps, the chorus of birds and the tiny rumble of pram wheels. The breeze carried with it the scent of honeysuckle and it flooded my mind with childhood memories of licking the sweet nectar from the tiny buds.

My dream is to one day have an edible yard full of baby lettuces and herbs....
and a square flower garden with an old iron bed hidden in the center for nature naps. But today, I'm going to rock out to Bjork and get ready for a book arts class tonight. Be back soon....

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posted by Wendy at 3:02 PM


Blogger Julie said...

I wanted to leave a comment on your previous post but there isn't an option to.
Anyway.. it was sooo neat to see you again!! Reminds me of how much I loved just being in your shadow.. I miss you terribly and Reston sure does ROCK!!
Stay true my friend.. Longer visits will come soon!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

You were never in my shadow because we walk this earth side by side.

March on, my sister!

6:22 PM  
Blogger cloudscome said...

I just found you through Shelley (But Wait). I loved that Last Child in the Woods book too. I am trying to keep my kids outside and off the screen as much as possible.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

welcome, cloud!

8:02 AM  

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