By Family & Friends in Nature Sangha
Three-year-old Cole hurried along on the level forest trail, a bit squishy under his feet from previous rains. He was leading the Family & Friends in Nature Sangha on a hike around Lake Anza in Berkeley, California. Suddenly, the trail darted uphill to avoid an impassible section where a steep rock face came right to the water’s edge. Cole continued happily on this narrow trail above the rock face and close to the edge while the adults scrambled to catch up with him. Coming behind Cole, six-year-old Prince saw the situation. Quickly, Prince climbed directly up the incline, catching Cole’s hand as he reached him. Prince walked slowly, mindfully balancing on the slope just below Cole as he guided his younger friend across and back down to the waterside trail.
Raccoons in the Night
Mateus, four years old, and Grandma Lennis planned to go out in the dark night to walk to a neighbor’s house to get vegetables. Mateus was worried that raccoons might be outside and bite them, and they would die. In the house, before venturing out, Mateus practiced his powers to shoo away raccoons. “GO AWAY, RACCOON!” he shouted, standing firmly, feet apart, with arms stuck straight out at the animal.
When outside, Mateus continued to express his fear. Grandma offered, “If any raccoons come, I will pick you up.”
“But you said you have a sore back, Grandma,” Mateus replied.
“That would not matter. If a raccoon comes, I will pick you up,” Grandma confirmed.
“NO, DO NOT PICK ME UP!” Mateus emphatically stated. “I need to use my powers to shoo away the raccoons. I do not want a raccoon to bite you. I do not want to lose my Grandma.” He was a bit teary-eyed.
Grandma replied, “Thank you, Mateus, for wanting to protect me. We can work as a team. We will shoo away the raccoons together.”
“Okay,” said Mateus.
The Families & Friends in Nature Sangha in Oakland, California, contributed these stories about the natural goodness of children. Prince, now eight, enjoys hiking and exploring on our monthly outings. Cole, seven, likes trips to the beach to build sand castles and wade in the bay. Mateus, ten, also enjoys hiking with our families and, especially, chatting with the adults. In addition, Prince is learning hip-hop dance; Cole is fond of petting his dog, Mallory; and Mateus likes acting in the theater.