Of Nature Journals

29 May

I was going through some of my daughter’s papers ready to file them away. I couldn’t resist pulling these two nature journal entries and putting them side by side. The first one was from 2005…

cardinal05

The second was done this month. Cardinal remains her favorite bird.
cardinal07

That takes me back when I was faithful with my own nature journaling. Not that I have abandoned it, it is just the least thing on my mind right now, considering the season with small children we are in.

I remember almost three years ago, in a rustic cabin in the woods, I was consumed with my journal while my husband and children biked and explored the trails. I was in the middle of a not so great entry when my oldest daughter stopped by to give me wildflowers. “To press on your notebook,” she said. I had no idea that one of my sisters in California had been calling, trying to get a hold of me. The following morning, I announced to the family that we are leaving for home early. No particular reason, mommy just didn’t feel right, and everyone agreed. On the way home, I heard from that sister of mine, unexpectedly, that dad was not doing well. The next day, we were on a plane to Los Angeles. Dad passed on.

The journal got put aside for a while.

How comforting to open it again and find those pages I did the day before dad left… the wildflowers my daughter gave me still tucked in… the reflection that I was pregnant with our third baby which explains why I was left in the cabin while the rest of the family explored the woods.

I didn’t write or sketch anything special that day, but those pages will remain special not because of what is written on it, but because of the memory of the events that transpired around it.

Do you keep a nature journal? Have you looked at it lately?

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