My name is Virginija Meilune, I was born and spent most of my life in Lithuania and moved to Australia only three years ago. And this is my letter to you.
I remember my favourite red sport pants torn into pieces, full of holes. I wonder why mom let me wear them. Maybe just because I was always so stubborn and those pants were the best ones to climb trees in (skirts just don't do the job).
I bet you hear it a lot already -> "Best childhood memories are from when I was spending time outside". But for me it was more. I had a very strict mother. The five of us lived in a tiny apartment and I was never allowed outside. Too dangerous, kids with bad influence, stranger danger and all these things kept me in our small unit's jail. At least we lived on the 7th floor, that way I could see far away fields and forests at the end of my city and I could dream about running free in them. So my only time to really play outside was summer time at my grandmother's house. And even though I was limited to the big square of fences, which I regularly crossed while unseen, I still had huge trees in old gardens and lots of dirt, sand, sticks and rocks to play with. We couldn't afford lots of toys, the only outside toys I had were drawn on the flat wood with a wet charcoal. I had mobile phones, computers and other gadgets that were actually nothing but my imagination. And this creativity is still my best tool whilst being a grown up now and raising my own child.
I understand my mother's fears. Sometimes I am even thankful for the poor conditions I grew up with, yet I do wish I had more time outdoors. Maybe that's why now I use all the opportunities I can to stay outside. Can we have a meeting outside even in the burning heat? Let's do it! Can we have a dinner as a picnic in our backyard? Let's do it. So many opportunities to turn to nature.
I'm not saying that we should take away all children's toys and replace them with empty planks (though it is a great toy) or let them roam freely without supervision. I believe life is about harmony. Trust in your ability to raise your children well, because they have that harmony inbuilt in them. Show how to be adventurous to the ones who look up to you.
The more we talk about what nature means to us, the more other people will realise and remember their best memories outside. So let’s talk more about those nature adventures. By being one of our e-news subscribers you show that you care for your environment and children who surround you. And we thank you for that!