So today is Earth Day. A day upon which we pay tribute to our home planet. Shouldn’t we do that everyday?! Anyway… Today I simply write to say that Snug, Ity and I celebrated Earth Day out back enjoying this glorious spring weather. We discovered a promise of summer peeking just around the corner in the shape of a lightning bug creeping across our patio. Now lightning bugs are a very special insect for Snug and I as they usually begin to make their yearly appearance around Snug’s mid-May birthday and be en masse by my birthday at the beginning of June. As a child, I thought lightning bugs were a gift especially for me. I still secretly do… But I am willing to share their loveliness with the world (wink wink)!
Anyway, here one is crawling along on this drizzly, breezy mid-spring morning and I get the impression that he may be struggling a bit. He makes no effort to fly away as we offer a long stick upon which to crawl and then another and then another. Further, he crawls right onto our fingers and up our arms, much to Snug’s extreme and Ity’s tentative delight! The girls were so gentle with him as I explained that maybe his wings were wet and he may need to dry them out a bit before being able to fly away. Snug had the excellent idea to put him in the fairy garden so he could wander about and dry a bit. I thought that was a splendid plan and she took the stick he was crawling on over and waited patiently for him to extricate himself from stick to the fairy bridge! Then she and Ity gathered grass and dirt for him to “eat” and stones to “play” with and added these to the garden pot as well. They watched him crawl around and then were off to explore the creek and dig around in the yard. The clouds thinned out a bit and the sun shown through fully: everything warmed up and it turned into a perfect day!
Around lunch time, Snug checked back in and couldn’t find the little lightning bug anywhere. Devastated, she ran to me hysterically crying that he had gone away.After my own futile search, I explained to her that she provided him a sheltered, safe place for his wings to dry out and gain some strength to fly away! This is what we wanted for him!! Although we can absolutely miss our insect friend and be sad that we no longer can visit him, our most important role as humans on this Earth is to be advocates for creatures and plants as well as all the necessary elements of our earth that allow for life on this great rock suspended in the universe. By offering sanctuary to our lightning bug, he is able to eventually spread his wings and take flight into his own little life! We were all lucky to have come across one another!
Snug was still wistful for that little guy though; so to help redirect her, she, Ity, and I went on an insect exploration! We found a ton!! Then after lunch we came back inside and I pulled all the bug books I could find from the shelves for them to peruse before nap time. Some favorites we read were:
1. The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carl: If you can find the board book with the light up bugs on the las page that is a show stopper!!
2. 1001 Bugs to Spot by Emma Helbrough: Love this one because a. you can incorporate counting and math skills for many levels, b. there is a honey bee to spot on every single page which builds in a conversation about the IMPORTANCE of honey bees for our existence on this earth, and c. there is opportunity to explore different habitats bringing in geography as well as what other animals may be found along with the insects… I could go on!!! Just buy the book and let you and your child’s imagination run wild!!
3. Our very favorite Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel: The friendship between a worm and a caterpillar and then so much more!! Just lovely.
We had nothing on the agenda today other than going outside. I think the girls had a significant Earth celebration and learning opportunities galore. I’ll leave you with the important question that Snug presented me with at one point this morning. She asked, “Mama, how does the Earth keep us all on it?” How indeed?! Looks like we have an excellent question in which to explore!