Finding nature again with my children


“As a child, my playground was the woods.

The end of our street opened into a vast wooded forest, defined by a thin dirt footpath that stretched into a world of exploration for us. Our friends and neighbors, our siblings and dogs, all found peace and adventure under the shade of sky-high oaks and cedars.

It was there that we breathed in our first taste of independence, running freely through the creeks and over wooden bridges. Banding together despite our varied ages, we carved our names into trees and spent afternoons searching for lost treasure. We learned about ourselves and saw each other in a new light, as if sunshine cast through an umbrella of leaves had the power to illuminate our truest selves…”

I’m so excited to be featured in the Washington Post today with this new post that is so dear to me. This is for all those who spent their childhoods running freely through the woods with us — and, more importantly, for all those who came after us, whose adventures are still out there waiting for them. It’s a call to not let ourselves become the first generation to deny our children the freedom to explore their world.

Find the full post at

And if you like what you’ve read here, please find us on Facebook for more.

2 thoughts on “Finding nature again with my children

  1. Hi Catherine. I read this story in the Raleigh News & Observer this morning and wanted to write. I’m much older than you, but I grew up in the woods, too, and you took me right back there, to the fairies and the deer (now they roam my suburban neighborhood), of the feel of the cool earth on the bottom of your feet. Your story is beautiful…

    Like you, I’m a former journalist and freelance writer whose husband, thankfully, kept us eating more than crackers. I wrote similar stories about my children and me years ago… before blogs, so it was much harder to get my work out there. I saw a similar voice in your words.

    Though my kids are grown (no grands yet), I’m writing again, exploring that world without them and watching them make their way in it. It’s a terrific time, but not nearly as fun when all those little bodies are at your feet.

    You’ll have a wonderful treasure for your kids when they are grown… stories of your mothering them with love, a sense of wonder and of humor. Bravo.

    Susan Byrum Rountree


    • Thank you so much for reaching out, Susan! Your kind words mean a lot. With or without an audience, you’re right — writing about these times and having these stories as reminders will always be a treasure for a mother. Glad you are writing again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s