Have you ever noticed how, every once in a while, two or three things happen in a row that add up to make you go “Aha!”? This morning, I was interviewed by a local columnist about my upcoming Green Gym Day. We focused on how parents can make the day a fun way to get kids in the habit of being out in nature, and moving their bodies in a way that doesn’t feel like the chore of “exercise.”

walking with kids

Something as simple as a walk in the woods is full of small miracles. It helps if you have kids along.

Yesterday, I accompanied friends and their three young children on a visit to the nearby Westmoreland Nature Preserve. City folk like me, they consciously bring a bit of wild nature into their lives every other weekend.

And then today, I was charmed by an article in the New York Times about walking along the coastline of Wales. A few lines in particular struck a chord: “The sweeping, throat-catching grandeur of the coastline awed us, but it was tiny miracles that stopped us in our tracks. Slugs crawled with small majesty through the long grass. Spangled blossoms sprouted from tumbling stacked walls.”

My “aha” moment was the idea of small miracles: the little things in the world around us that we miss if we don’t pay attention. My friends’ kids balance their share of screen time with green time–and are learning to see the world of tiny wonders in which they actually live.

"Here sis, take my worm."

A worm is a beautiful thing to share. How many do you spot during your walks?

They find each tiny bug, each worm, each little froggie, to be fascinating. As well they should!

Hunter gatherers for frogs.

The hunter-gatherers work as a wily team: “Here, froggy, froggy.”

Just as each child we bring into the world is a small miracle of nature, packed with potential, so is every foray into nature packed with possibilities for surprise and wonder. It doesn’t take a lush nature preserve, either–local parks with a bit of green are secretly packed with life at child’s eye view. In our local city park, my friends’ son, Diego, discovered a small flowering plant covered with praying mantises. I had walked by this plant nearly everyday, completely unaware of the astonishing, teeming life inches away.

Frog in hand

Success! After an hour of fascination, we let the frog go back to its home in the pond.

When I originated Green Gym Day, a small idea was born: to get more people all over the world outside moving on the second Sunday of June.

Can one day a year really make a difference?

Yes, if people get out and bring friends and family that day. And if they allow themselves to realize how wonderful that feels, and then do themselves the favor of integrating regular outings into their lives.

Truly everyday can be Green Gym Day. Being in nature can be normal. Even little bits of city nature count. Small miracles lead to bigger ones. Why not be part of a miracle? What will you be doing on Green Gym Day?

Register for free here. Then, send us photos of your activity and be a (small, miraculaous) part of our Green Gym Day video designed to inspire others.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>