Jon Young (8 shields nature connection pioneer), talked about connecting nature to some of your stories that you tell kids. An example that I did was I converted a story about smashing into a kangaroo on my motorbike, into a story about kangaroo roads. Originally the story focused on blood and guts and protective clothing, however, once I looked at the story from a nature perspective, the focus shifted to the time of night kangaroos are active, how kangaroos move through the bush (kangaroo roads) and the lack of awareness myself and others have of their road system. The content is still much the same, however the emphasis is on the nature part.
This idea of attaching nature to an old well used story is almost an analogy for attaching nature to an old well used passion, and for me that is motorcycles. I love nature, and I love riding. These days, instead of seeing them as separate passions (and in some people’s eyes conflicting passions) I have connected them. Once I would ride to a capital city (see rock bands, drink beer), now I ride to beautiful natural environments, get off my bike and explore (and sometimes drink beer). The beauty of a bike is you are more connected to the environment than you are in a car. You feel the heat, the cold, the bugs. You are more aware of the road conditions, and weather, you can smell a dead kangaroo, or lemon gum as you pass it. The picture in this post shows a very steep hill, made of lots of pointy rocks. Riding my bike up that hill, 100% connected me with the geology of the hill. After 10 minutes I felt like I had run a marathon and crammed for a 3-hour exam on neuroscience. My mind total absorbed the rock formations, patterns, and topography as if my life counted on it (it did).
If I go for a walk, I like to walk in nature, if I write music, I am fed by nature, if I need to chill, I will chill in nature. I have connected nature to most things I do in my life. It is just natural then to connect nature to my pedagogy. If you are on the pathway to deepening your nature pedagogy, a good start may be to start connecting nature to everything else you do, then a nature driven pedagogy comes more naturally. ‘Walking the walk’, I guess.