Sunday, April 20, 2008
The unmitigated awe that nature can inspire in the youthful imagination has been a subject of reflection for countless poets and authors. Transcendentalists like Walt Whitman ascribed an almost pious relevance to a child’s discovery of nature. It’s this sense of awe and wonder that writer Richard Louv believes is at stake in today’s youth, resulting largely from a dwindling contact with nature and an immersion in electronic media and structured play. In 2005 he published Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, enumerating the many ills that arise when children are gradually divorced from the natural world.