Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher.
— William Wordsworth, from The Tables Turned (1798)

Springtime requires our attention. I believe education is an organic part of life; in every season, all through the year...we learn. It is in springtime I believe we are most enthusiastic to observe the changes all around us. The great blue herons returning to their nests along the Swatara Creek, the killdeer couple that makes its camouflaged nest in the gravel nearby...the hepatica and spring beauties, appearing as if by magic in the vernal woodlands...these daily miracles of Nature might be missed I fear if our son attended school.

Seeing the way the late-morning sun illuminates the trout lilies growing in our woodland garden, spying the frog in our pond (the one who likes to float above the anacharis) and leaving the house "on a school night" to see if the eastern toads are calling yet nearby...all of these things we experienced only this week.

This week we also watched a bald eagle rest in a tree less than 100 yards from where we quietly stood. We stood among the trees and watched silently. As suddenly as it appeared, it lifted up and soared across the lake. That lake is the very one in which we discovered a newly hatched musk turtle this fall.

The natural world is so illuminating. These simple, daily observations teach us so much about the earth and all of its subtle relationships. I am so grateful to have these days with come forth into the light of things.  




Jessica Allen explores the fields and forests of Pennsylvania with her artist-husband, Michael Allen, and their son, Benjamin. She shares her observations through words and pictures of everyday magic and beauty she sees in her world.