Nature as Teacher

To the Editor:

“My heart leaps up when I behold/A rainbow in the sky.” So wrote beloved British poet William Wordsworth. I didn’t see a rainbow; in fact, today is a cloudy day, but this morning, as I was running in Mattapoisett, I came upon a rather large group of Center School students and their teachers on a walking field trip. They couldn’t have looked happier, and several of the students said hi to me as I ran by them. This is the beauty that Wordsworth was defining as a “leap” of the heart. Wordsworth saw children as pure and inspiring and innately in touch with nature. Wordsworth also wrote, “The Child is father of the Man,” and “Let Nature be your Teacher.” Our Center School students were learning this morning in ways we cannot quantify.

My experience of seeing the children and teachers on their walk indeed made my heart leap up and gave me the true joy and the sense of beauty that Wordsworth so wisely described. According to Wordsworth, I am wiser myself from this encounter with Joy and Beauty, and “They flash upon that inward eye/Which is the bliss of solitude;/and then my heart with pleasure fills.” In other words, I will be able to recollect my experience and actually relive my heart’s leaping in my imagination. More importantly, whatever the children saw and experienced on their walk this morning will stay with them and continue to teach and inspire them and bring them joy. I am certain that when they see their parents tonight these beautiful children will have something to share of their school day. Applause to Center School and Mattapoisett teachers for leading the children into fresh air and Nature as teacher.

Teresa Dall


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