The addition of a newborn to the house brings massive change. Days pass in a blur of exhaustion, and twilight—or “the witching hour,” as it’s known in my family—is punctuated by colicky cries. Fortunately, to misquote English playwright and poet William Congreve, nature “has charms to sooth the savage beast.”
While a quick Internet search revealed little on the soothing effects of nature on young babies (and trust me, the demands of an infant leave no time for extensive research), experience has proven time and time again that when baby swings and bouncy chairs fail, a gentle walk around the shady backyard or an evening stroll down the street bring instant calm. At 9 p.m., you are likely to find me and the baby pacing the front porch to a serenade of summer crickets.
Nature has charms for all ages. Whether it’s the fresh air, the sunshine, or a cool breeze on a warm day, there’s something about getting outside that soothes the soul. For the ultimate soul-soothing experience, take advantage of long summer days to visit Adkins Arboretum. If the aforementioned playwright had explored the Arboretum’s 400 acres of wildflowers, shady streamside paths, and lush foliage, he might have replaced “music” with “nature,” too.
by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator