September 24, 2018

Dear Campus School Families,

The remnants of Hurricane Florence made their way to Northampton this week and torrential rain arrived at the same time as the start of school. Small rivers of rain soon coursed through our circle, affording students the opportunity to display their athletic prowess by nimbly jumping over these waters or, as was more often the case, jumping into them. What was constant was the sheer delight on our students’ faces. They were thrilled by the rain, and I wondered why - what is it about a driving rainstorm that captivates children?

While there are many possible reasons one stood out: children are receptive and attuned to the natural world in ways that many adults are not. While an adult might view a rainstorm as an annoyance, children views it as a wonder. They connect with and delight in the power of nature. Children are also tactile - they like the feel of rain on their skin, the wind in their hair. In short, children have fewer barriers between themselves and nature. Their engagement with and perceptions of the world seem more immediate and direct than those of adults, who often have so much going on in their heads that they forget to pay attention to – and delight in – what is happening right around them.

This is why it is sometimes good for adults to take their cues from children; they know things we adults occasionally forget and are good models for how to be joyfully present to the natural world in all its immediacy and power.