No Sunscreen.


One of Jack’s favourite trees to climb

I had an “I’m a bad mother” moment this morning.

I walk with my son to school as often as possible (a couple of times per week). It’s 20 minutes from door to door. About 1km.

We often walk past neighbors loading their kids into cars and hauling them to the school, and we feel pretty good about being “less wimpy or lazy”… as if it were a competition.

But what we really get out of it is the high value time: time we spend chatting about this and that, or singing songs, observing the seasons change, or racing to the next traffic sign. All this while getting exercise, vitamin D and more oxygen to the brain.

So I’m feeling pretty good about teaching my child to appreciate this “high value time” on a beautiful sunny day until I realize I forgot the sunscreen.

How great it is to be outside enjoying nature… until your skin burns.

I turn to Jack and say “Sorry bud, you’ll need to be sure to have your hat on at recess… and you might want to wear your hoody unzipped, just to be sure your neck and arms don’t get too much sun… you don’t want to get burned… or maybe you could find some shade to play in?”

He interrupts, “It’s okay mom… I’ve got it covered. Everyday I play under the trees and bushes. They give me shade.”

“Oh. Right… good call Jack.”

Nature to the rescue. 🙂


Bird in Hawthorn Tree by bramblejungle on FlickrChildhood inoculated good faith in me.

Not least to thank: the hawthorn tree.

Thorns and berries abound,

From sky to ground, in it, by imagination,

With the birds myself I found.

Offensive, it stands brazen yet sensitive: a place to live.

My exposure to its likes, by trails through grass trodden by bikes,

Could only be, what mom may call, a lesson taught au natural. And so:

Not unlike the pain of choosing, of gaining, then loosing,

Confidence through ignorance,

Is the damage done today

By the human race.


Good faith in nature’s ways brings anguish and dismay,

I sense en masse, and fast paced,

A threshold we soon face.

Yet thorns and berries borne together,

Will choose a fate, for those acquainted with this space

Of limits, learning, and grace.


Now I, accountable for what scrapes I bore,

Move to give and progress more.

Those little birds – for berries, songs they wield.

Calling others to chance the thorns…

“Come now, from the fields.”

 -Heather Bauer

There are times when so many thoughts cannot be succinctly put together in an effective way – without the use of imagery, metaphor, rhyme and simile…

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