I love fall. I like watching the leaves as they change colors. I love going for walks in the woods. One of our family’s favorite places to go for a fall walk is Discovery Park. When we are there we feel miles away from the city. As we walk in the woods, looking up at those towering maple trees that drop huge leaves, we forget we are in the city.
When our sons were younger we would take a family Leaf Walk -- crunching the leaves along the trail, kicking leaves and admiring the biggest ones. The boys spent a lot of time examining the size, color and texture of those leaves. It was, and is, a great way to start the fall season.
As you walk the trail through toward the bluff, you pop out from under the canopy of trees into a large open field. When our boys were young they would run through the tall grass. We would sit under the giant maple trees that sit near the top of the field and watch them as they ran up and down the hill. The colors of the changing trees, against the backdrop of the white houses, always made me feel like I was back in my grandparents' small town in Ohio. After they finished running the hill we would head off to the “beach”... the sand pile that overlooks the water at the end of the pathway. Sometimes we would bury treasures to be found by someone else later in the day and look for our own treasures (usually a snack in a ziplock baggie that we hid while they were digging in the sand). As the sun began to set we knew it was time to head back home. We would hike up the hill to climb on the small rock wall and have a leaf fight before heading back into the woods. On our walk through the woods we would look at the tall trees, listen for the birds, examine slugs, pick up rocks and talk about what we saw, or not talk at all, and enjoy the natural beauty of the day. No matter how much time we spent at Discovery Park – one hour or the whole afternoon – it felt like we had been a grand adventure.
As the boys got older our family park walks were harder to do. As Joel and Nick grew into young adults Curt and I continued the outings without them. We would take a picture and text them asking, "Guess where we are?". At first it was hard to go on our walk without them but I realized they would always be with us in the memories we have from those walks when they were young. It has continued to be a place we go for family fun.
became part of our family traditions.
It is a part of who we are as a family and what we value.
We all have
a respect for natural places, enjoy being
out of doors and love going for walks in the woods.
What you do with your children
will be with them for all of their life.
Memories of family walks in the fall will come back
to them when they see a maple leaf, hear a bird in
the tree or see the sun filtering through the leaves on a large tree