In 2010, my husband and I left the city to escape to rural life in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and we're loving every moment.
Once or twice a week I update Jennifer's Journal with everything I love through prose and photography, as well as posts about writing. My first novel was released in March 2016 and its sequel was released in March 2017.
“Join the legacy of nurturing discovery as we work towards starting conversations about the future of our waters. Lead Canada’s efforts on ocean conservation with the Royal Ontario Museum.
Join leading ocean scientists, storytellers, Indigenous leaders and government stakeholders as they look towards 2020 in this compelling conference exploring the status of Canada’s marine conservation programs, and our role in protecting the oceans that sustain us.”
Keynote Speakers: Alexandra Cousteau and Mandy-Rae Krack, “united as strong women deeply in love with the oceans and committed to their protection, the pair will provide engaging, timely, and complementary talks.”
Today I’m sharing “For the Love of Reading,” one of my posts from 2014. Due to time constraints as I work on my latest novel, there may be more selected archived posts popping up here and there over the winter. “Sunday Snap” will continue as usual. – JKP
“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”
― Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
Ah… the written word. It has been my truest passion since my chubby little hands first held a book and my eager, unfledged mind tried to unlock the enchantment within its pages.
As I know it is with many of you, reading since childhood has taken me everywhere, through experiences and adventures in exotic lands beyond my horizon, and all the way back to the charm – or heartbreak – of a domestic story around the corner.
Books have allowed me to journey along with colourful, unforgettable characters, to get inside their minds, to live other, more fascinating lives. And between the lines, some books have given…
Today’s post is brought to you by my guest, author Susan Day.
Spending time with your grandchildren is one of the best things you can do for them, and for you too, for that matter.
Sure, kids love gifts and candy, and they get really excited about going to a theme park or spending time with their friends. However, there is a secret world which exists right outside the window and one which has a powerful allure. I’m referring to nature.
Nature offers an endless array of beauty and wonder, and for the most part it’s free and easy to access. Taking your grandchildren outdoors is a great way to build a strong connection with them. Just spending time and ‘being’ with children is important for their wellbeing.
Some children don’t get outdoors enough, and the simple act of wandering along the street, running at the park or tramping through the beach sand is an experience they are sadly missing out on.
Ignite a Sense of Curiosity
Research tells us that curious kids are intelligent kids. The more questions they ask, the more their minds grow and develop.
Nature has a bounty of things to be curious about. You could literally spend hours outside with your grandchildren exploring, and you don’t have to live near a forest or a beach to enjoy nature either. It’s in your yard, in your neighbor’s yard, at your local park, or any place a tree is growing and the birds are singing.
Do your grandkids know where bees go, and what they are doing buzzing around those flowers? Do they know why some birds migrate, and others live in the same area all their lives?
Point Out the Beauty in Small Objects
Each time your grandchildren come to visit, make a point of taking them outside and showing them something nature is doing. It might be new buds on the tree or the color autumn leaves are turning.
How many people rush through their busy days, not noticing subtle changes happening around them? Isn’t there something magnificent about the way birds take off or the way clouds move across the sky?
“Isn’t that interesting…” you might begin to say, and then point out an aspect of nature that is happening right under their very noses.
Look at a Leaf
What shape is it? Does it have any spots or spines? Compare it to another leaf from a plant that is growing close by. What things are similar? What are different? You could also begin a leaf scrap-book and share details of trees and shrubs that live in your area.
Analyse an Ant
Who doesn’t love bugs? Well, most adults don’t find them interesting, but kids love ’em! Bugs, beetles, aphids, and ants are like miniature dinosaurs or creatures from outer space living in our backyards. Without interfering with their busy lives, make a point of sharing these remarkable creatures with your grandchild.
Marvel at Moths
Moths, butterflies and dragonflies all go about their daily lives in nearly every place on earth, living in the most amazing ways.
Your grandchildren will love to learn about them. They will enjoy the wonder nature has to offer through your eyes, and come to a deeper understanding of how remarkable the world really is.
“I’d Rather Watch TV, Grandma!”
Nature has a way of going about its business whether we are watching or not, and all the while our televisions and devices are nagging us to watch and engage.
You may find your grandchildren are not used to examining nature in so much detail. They may not understand what you are getting at, but one thing is for sure: they won’t forget the time you have spent with them and how important nature was to you. It is a privilege to be able to see what nature is doing, and stand in awe of what it will do next.
What child doesn’t deserve to be introduced to all of this wondrous world?
No doubt your grandkids will grow and mature, and will find themselves stopping to admire a flower or cloud patterns. They will turn to a friend, their partner or even their own children, and share memories they have of you and how you introduced them to one of the most magnificent things on this planet – nature.
Susan lives in Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.
Interested in sharing one of your original articles as a guest? Feel free to submit your ideas to email@example.com. Preference is given to topics relevant to my blog, such as books, writing, nature, photography, travel, children and pets. – Jennifer