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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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What science isn't. Citizen science innovates for real life.

"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."
-Matt Cartmill, anthropology professor and author (1943- )

This quote tickled my fancy!

The modern culture elevates science to the status of a religion in many ways. Science is a way to understand the world around us... and we project that process to understanding the purpose and meaning of life. And yes...there are some innocent youth who pursue a career in order to make sense out of life.

And then reality sets in. A career is work...a lot of drudgery interspersed with moments of service and joy, moments of insight and life-shaking questions. And a struggle to identify our values and principles. A struggle for integrity when easy paths are presented to us...for a price.

And we look for the strangest things in the strangest places. :-)

Like a needle in a haystack.

And love in all the wrong places.

And endless shopping for joy, for creative expression and for stimulation...

And comfort in the arms of alcohol or drugs or gluttony.

And nature in the heart of modern manufacturing and urban living and...

Where do you look for nature? In books, videos, television and photographs? Or in nature? Raw, messy, unadulterated nature with wide swings in weather, dirt under your fingernails, birds that poop on your car. Crops that are abundant one time and fail the next. Floods and hurricanes and balmy spring days.

The list is endless. It always takes a bout of tears to make me realize that I've removed myself from the real living roots of my soul. The call of birds, the smell of grass and flowers. The bite of a chilly wind. The opportunity to wiggle my toes in soft soil...

The pulse of life...

...real life. What's beyond careers and community and even what's beyond emotions.

Reality. When earth pulses with the lifeblood of its spirit.

Real life!

And science is only one little part of that experience... What's important is living -- experiencing real life. And that doesn't have much to do with science -- or any career. It has to do with the umbilical cord that connects you to the rest of God's creation -- your inner spirit.

For more articles about NATURE & KIDS

Young Birders Get Serious About Birding Fun
The Squirrel Family 0 Backyard Nature Safari
Hamsters are rodents and cuddly pets
Kids Learning Links
Buddy's Diner (for the birds)
Bird Profiles for Young Naturalists