Let Nature be your teacher

6x4 strawberries backJust over a week ago we took our grandchildren strawberry picking at Scaddows Farm, a few miles from us. We arrived soon after they opened and followed the well organised Covid-19 precautions, including hand sanitising upon entry. When we reached the fields it was clear that after weeks of ‘home schooling’ many young families were enjoying a morning outdoors. You could almost see the relief on the faces of parents and children alike. And who could blame them? What better classroom than this?

I left this post as a draft, hoping to find a suitable quote about strawberries, but surprisingly nothing came along, even with the help, or lack of help, from google. (If you find one please feel free to comment). Then out of the blue Suzette at Suzette B’s blog posted the quote ‘Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher’ by William Wordsworth.

I searched the quote and discovered that it’s from The Tables Turned. I always need help interpreting poetry so I found a useful analysis of it. Basically Wordsworth is saying don’t double in size by sitting at a desk pouring over boring books. Get outside and look and listen. Nature is full of wealth and wisdom. You can learn more about humanity, good and evil from a tree than from a sage. Go out, ready to learn with “a heart that watches and receives”.

By the way, the strawberries tasted as good as they looked!

The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?
The sun above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.