I read Jean Weiss’ Editor’s Note about taking a moment to breathe (November 2005). It used to be that if I had free time in the car, I was making lists of things to do at work or home or replaying a conversation instead of relaxing. Now on my way to and from work, I listen to books on tape or a CD that I borrow from my public library. They allow me really to leave work behind. Perhaps these would be helpful for giving Jean’s mind a rest before she picks up her daughter from school.
I really enjoyed the few pages I was able to read in your magazine and look forward to returning to it tonight.
—Stephanie Michniewicz, Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Your Wise Words interview with Richard Louv (November 2005) inspired me to go buy his book Last Child in the Woods (Algonquin, 2005). In a former life, I was a naturalist/guide in Yosemite National Park, teaching environmental education to children from all over the state of California.
I remember being struck by one kid’s comment that his family had driven eight hours from Los Angeles to Yosemite to see “the nature.” We need to reawaken kids’ ability to see the wonders of nature in their own backyard, even if “the nature” there is limited to weeds growing out of a crack in pavement, or birds on a tree branch. This will require motivation and initiative on the part of parents and teachers (and a rekindling of our own sense of wonder)—a challenge when there are so many other things taking up our time, and when it is so much easier (and seemingly safer) to press play on the VCR.
—Hannah G. Schneider, Boulder, Colorado