Ever since Elena learned to walk, 9 years ago now, we have taken “flower walks”. This is just a walk around whatever neighborhood we’re in, or sometimes a local park. It is just a walk, often over the same ground we’ve covered every other day that week.
What sets a flower walk apart from any other walk is the pace. We take our time, go slow. We literally stop and smell the roses. And the peonies, and foxglove, and lavender, cedar, poppies and mint. We look, touch, smell and taste as appropriate.
We talk about what is budding out, or blooming, or setting fruit. What has changed since the last time we walked this way. And along the way we talk about other things too; books, dreams, early 20th century politics & propaganda, ancient mummification practices, farming, babies, what to make for dinner, whatever comes up really.
Recently, Ronan started being able to touch plants without mangling them. And he learned how to “sniff”. (he’s getting there) Soon he’ll be walking alongside us. For now he rides in the carrier content to listen, point at trucks, wave to the neighbor’s chickens and examine whatever we pick for him.
I love this time spent with my little ones. Soaking up the sun, or rain – it is Oregon, taking the time to slow down and pay attention. I hope it is a habit they continue on their own. For now we all enjoy this time together, flower walking.
What about you? What helps you slow down and appreciate your surroundings?