Kathleen Donchak

Writer & Expressive EcoArt Facilitator

Sunday Letter

The Essential Nature of Being: A Father's Day Reflection

“Take them outside, you will all feel better.” ~ my mom’s advice when our twins were infantsWe all need time and space to become aware of the essential nature of our being and discover ways to bring that expression into culture. This awareness of self is, I believe, the seed of well-being that is often elusive in our adult culture, but visible in childhood. It is the place where our imagination and creativity meet in flashes of inspiration and connection.It is the part of us our children want to know most, as a grounding force of their sense of self.We can connect with and show this part of ourselves more easily in nature, as it shifts us out of culture and into a sense of wonder guided by our senses.I am asked so often how we get our children outdoors, and last week, as we followed our teenage sons up a mountain trail, I realized that we still take them outside. Pausing on our rocky climb, standing with the salmonberry trees, wood ferns, and moss, we became part of the understory of the forest nourished by its blanket for mind and spirit.This is what we teach our children through nature: discovering ways to connect with their essential nature is the most important lesson they will ever learn.On this Father’s Day, I celebrate my late father, remembering that day fishing off the pier when nothing was said but everything was understood. I also celebrate my husband, who shows our sons that the only thing they ever need to be is themselves.

Copyright 2024 Kathleen Donchak