Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Like rushing locomotives, full-speed ahead, they were leaping out of the water in ways that I had never witnessed before. I grew up swimming in and sailing across the Santa Barbara Channel, and these blue whales were playing a game of chase that both surprised and excited me. Truly, these blues were moving at speeds I didn’t think possible of the largest animal on planet Earth. That’s the thing about nature – there’s always something new, something else to explore and to love.
One of my favorite reads in the biography genre, Diary of a Sea Captain's Wife by Margaret Holden Eaton, captures nature in its best and most difficult conditions. It brings to life an era when livestock, movie-making, and fishing expeditions ruled the Channel Islands. The way in which both Margaret Eaton and her husband lived and worked on Santa Cruz Island fascinates me, and their stories are ones that I remember each time I look out across the sea to see the islands guarding our coastline. It’s even more impactful because I have my own personal connection and history with this local national park.
There’s something magical when life and books come together to make sense of an experience. I can’t wait to read Anne of Green Gables with my daughters, to take them to Prince Edward Island to picnic near “The Lake of Shining Waters,” and to see the flowers blooming along the “White Way of Delight.” For now, I have to be content sharing with my children both picture and short chapter books about camping and about friendships and about all the other various day-to-day experiences one has as a two, four, or six-year-old. My hope is that these reads help my children navigate challenges, appreciate their surroundings, and enjoy adventures in nature that much more.
I encourage you to also front-load your family’s experiences with books! If you plan to travel during the upcoming holiday season, check in with your student’s teacher or Ms. Cope (or Amazon!) about what’s out there in the reading realm that could support your adventures. Help your children make connections with what they are seeing, hearing, visiting, and doing. This, no doubt, will create a richer, deeper experience for them.
Upper School English Teacher