When our boys were young there was one activity which needed no planning, no preparations, no gear. We would simply walk four blocks down to the river. A child's mind can find infinite things to do with some mud, sticks, stones and water. I would tag along, not saying anything, and the boys would soon be lost in a world of their own imaginings, all the while being enveloped by nature. As they got older they learned to handle a canoe; sometimes their trips ran to the hundreds of miles, with lots of preparation and gear. Being on a wild river on a hot summer's day makes it easy to feel as if one belongs in the world. The river goes on and on, the fish splash, the egrets among the reeds stand guard. All the while the sun-dappled leaves along the shore shiver in their dance of joy. As you float downstream in your tiny craft you cease to exist as you become a part of the scenery.
Some lessons need no professors.
First published , February 20, 2007