We’ve abandoned our old “main camp” this semester. We realized that although our numbers felt small, we had affected the landscape in a significant way. In the area we lovingly laid our blankets and babies, the mosses and ferns were eventually cleared, the ground flattened and then smoothed into dusty dirt. Newly treaded shortcuts became well used paths, wider and worn. And of course our beloved little Dirt Mountain, which had been used as a treacherous slide, a climbing wall, a hiding spot for secret clubs and a home base, looked very different than when we first arrived. It had patiently helped our kids to learn that they were stronger and braver than they (or I) thought. But today, it is plant-bare, except for the roots of the giant trees that the eroded soil has exposed. A few months ago one of those giant trees fell down. As they conquered the newly minted balance beam, we started wondering if our little spot needed a rest, time to reroot and regrow. The evidence of our impact was all around us. We are grateful to that place and will check in on its restoration. It was a good lesson for all of us and I couldn’t help but hope that these children would remember that just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. That they don’t have to use all of a thing, just because it is there to take. That they can care for a place, as the place has cared for them. Here are some Wonder Walkers today, at Forest School, forging a new path.