Winter is long, spring is coming along - with inspiration...

Cold, snow too deep to trudge with little companions.

Homework and dinner, stories and bedtime.

The time comes and goes. I find myself wishing for those moments when I could pick up my kids after work and drive off to a local park for some time together. Our green hour, or half or so. Now, there's nothing but white and cold and early sunsets.

But last night, as I was watching Richard Louv's presentation for the Blank Foundation, I felt the warming rays of sunshine, the reminders of the wonderful wintergreen - just resting there below the snow. I felt a surge in creative planning that comes with hosting a nature club for families. I got out my famous yellow pad once again and started putting together notes. Here I was, watching one of my heroes, presenting the needs of our generations and listening as he pointed to the need to reconnect and yes, even rebuilding the natural world around us.

And yet, even while I was listening, I found myself jotting down ideas for our future nature club events. This webinar, this connection only possible because of the amazing technology available to us today, was spurring me, setting me ablaze, as ideas rushed in an found their way to my paper.

Today, I continued to feel inspired. I connected with old friends through the Ning site, through facebook and even sat down to write a letter. All was done in hopes of making sure that when all this snow does finally melt, that Ashley and I will be there, out there, with our three kids. We'll be ready to catch that first germination of spring, that first promise sprout. And we will connect, as a family and as human beings. Life begins anew, and we will celebrate.

In the meantime, I picked up Seedfolks by Mr. Paul Fleischman. I read it all tonight. Please, try this out for yourself. A story of a community, pulled together by the creativity of a young girl who decides to plant 6 lima bean seeds in a neighborhood vacant, except for the trash, lot. Those seeds, and the determination, made for the tipping point, the cultural change that needed to happen to rebuild the local community.

Mr. Louv, I thank you for your important words, your constant "what ifs" and the determination that you have sparked. I thank the wonderful people of the Children and Nature Network, esp. Amy Pertschuk and Dr. Cheryl Charles, and the many, many wonderful people who are a part of this community. You are an inspiration to us all. We are ever so thankful for the families we have met through the Nature Clubs For Families, and we look forward to each and every conversation. Mostly, I'd like to thank my family of five, who proves time and again...We're just a family, trying to do the best we can with the time we are given.

That same family is leading a hike along the Appalachian Trail this Saturday for a tea party/ bird watching event in the woods. 11 inches of snow and all. Wish you could all be there with us. Lots of bodies can huddle together and keep each other warm.

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Comment by Suz Lipman on February 18, 2010 at 11:34am
Hi Chip. Thank you for this extraordinarily beautiful, heartfelt post. I, too, felt completely inspired watching the webcast and never fail to find inspiration from just about everyone connected with this movement. Your ideas about tipping points and change are very wise and speak to the same hope and light with which spring follows winter. Is your Appalachian Trail event listed anywhere? It would be great to lead people to it. In the meantime, bundle up and have a great time!

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