On Monday, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a cold day, and we wanted to stay in the sun and close to home. Bess had the idea to have a scavenger hunt while we walked, so that's what we did. We looked for a stop sign, a bird feeder, a house with a brown door, the number 5, a bench, a basketball hoop, a picture of a fish (on a storm drain), and a stump that she could stand on - and we found them all!
It reminded me of a story from the November-December 2008 issue of Mothering magazine called "Suburban Walkabout", in which a mother (from New Jersey, thank you very much!) describes her daily walks in her neighborhood with her kids. As much as I enjoy hiking in the woods or a long walk on the beach, where we are surrounded by the quiet rhythms of nature, it is nice to sometimes take the time to notice what is right under our noses. Bess was thrilled to find buds on the trees, seed pods that had fallen, and some daffodils beginning to poke out from the warming soil. These are all things that she might still find in the woods, but they wouldn't be as obvious, with the daffodil shoots still hidden under a blanket of leaves and the buds often too high for her to reach.