This September marked my eighth year at Adkins Arboretum. These years have flown by, in part because they’ve been punctuated—and sometimes interrupted—by the births of three of my children. Perhaps as a result, the newness and sense of wonder that accompanied my early days at the Arboretum have never completely disappeared.
Sense of wonder. The Arboretum’s former Youth Program Coordinator, Coreen Weilminster, borrowed this phrase from Rachel Carson when naming her Sunday “Sense of Wonder” family nature program. In her book of the same title, Carson writes, “It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.” I think of this quote often as I cross the Arboretum’s entrance bridge. No matter how pressing my schedule, taking time to pause and soak in the beauty of my surroundings is a necessity. I like to think that the sense of wonder that fills me on the bridge is one of the driving forces behind my youth programs.
Inspired by Carson and Coreen, the Arboretum will once again offer Sense of Wonder Sundays the first Sunday afternoon of each month beginning in February. Program details will be included in the winter newsletter and on the website. Until then, visitors may cultivate their own sense of wonder by contemplating the incomparable beauty of fall at Adkins Arboretum.
by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator