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Fine Arts Friday: Love of nature

In future posts, I’ll be talking more in depth about the how and why of nature study, but today I want to honor the woman who instilled in me a love of nature and to wish her a happy birthday!

My mother is a great lover of beauty, especially natural beauty. Now I’m from West Texas (the region, not the town that suffered the horrible explosion). “Natural beauty” and “West Texas” aren’t usually phrases heard in concert. My mother, however, can find and appreciate beauty anywhere. Not merely “Look at the lovely tumbleweed!” (said no person ever), but truly finding the beautiful: the sparrow, the desert willow, and of course the magnificent skies.

west texas sunset

My mother bequeathed me a love of beauty and the ability to find natural beauty everywhere — though mine is not as advanced as her ability. It’s a trait that I’m sure Charlotte Mason would have appreciated.

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Just as water is precious in the desert, my parents taught me that beauty was valuable and should be cherished.  My dad was an excellent wildlife spotter — even trucking down the highway at 60 miles an hour. He could spot deer, wild turkey, and all sorts of fauna along the side of the road, on walks on country roads, and sitting by the lake on family vacations. My mom had an eye for any bit of color that showed itself in the West Texas landscape, as well as for any songbirds that made an appearance.

The gift of my mother and father gave their children was to teach us that nature is a treasure and that the hunt for that treasure is a worthy use of our time and efforts.  To me, this is the heart of nature study, not to teach taxonomy or geology or to find the “usefulness” of nature, but simply to “Behold the beauty.” Thank you, mom and dad, for that imperishable gift.

One response to “Fine Arts Friday: Love of nature”

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