After months of being in Dallas, hearing stories of all the dump truck loads of tires and trash pulled out of the forest…knowing that it exists, having driven past it, being shown where the trailheads are and the spots where “just a short walk in there and you’ll see one of the best views in the city” but never having actually gone yet, we finally went on a family tour in the Trinity Forest.
And guess what! There are WOODS in DALLAS! As in, a real trail with topographical interest, roots coming out of the inclines, and rocks crumbling in spots. A brief walk through a little meadow full of new flowers and berries I’ve never even seen the color of before…
With little kids, your expectations and reality of going “on a hike” drastically change from what you remember pre-kids. Kids like to be involved, feeling, doing, exploring, oogling, and then when they’re little and tired, you better be prepared with a backpack or a strong arm or *something*!
Gone, for a time, are the days of anything that involves the words “strenuous” or “miles” but it’s a good excuse to slow down and notice the little things…
Like the one tiny green branch shooting up toward the sun, the only vestige of life left on an entire tree hell bent on surviving.
There is a lot of hype about Nature Deficit Disorder. I get it. Being back in the woods is like coming home. Left at the trailhead are the manicured boxwoods and lawns…sometimes even other things we find ourselves so accustomed to we forget it’s not the “norm”…walking into the woods leaves the ticky tacky little boxes in another world…
The show “Weeds” did a great portrayal of it. Click on the link…NBC or whoever owns the song has disabled embedding, but it’s a great visual with the song 🙂
Rather than valuing aesthetic beauty in the conventional sense, the forest knows a different beauty. The beauty of the forest is less pruning and more like a spectacular fireworks display of determination: shoots sprouting up out of dead stump, fallen limbs that refuse to die and continue to grow skyward.
It’s this wild contradiction to the laws of thermodynamics and entropy…that even while everything is tending to chaos with trees splitting and logs decaying…the sun creates life that defies it…growing and creating the forest.
Perfectly imperfect oak trees frame the vista of the forest at our picnic spot.
In horticulture, known for their strength, size and beauty, the mighty oak is revered like few other trees. In this forest, the oaks are imperfect friends…content to sit with you on the bench and share their vista of the forest and city…at peace as their twisted trunks rumble each time the commuter train passes. Yes, children need the forest, in any dose they can get it.
And on the way home, tanks full of adventure and tummies full of blueberry muffins, my boys fell asleep.
Do you have memories of playing in the woods as a kid? Do you find them valuable now?