This is certainly not a new endeavour, but it is one of my favourite long-term projects with the kids. We try to spend as much time as we can in the woods, but the boys growth, education and fun, and for my peace of mind. And of course, we always come home with pockets (usually mine!) full of treasures. About 2 years ago, I found a memory box (like a picture frame but with fabric backing and a 2 inch case) on sale and brought it home to start our collection. We have really enjoyed adding to the collection - pine cones, leaves, bones, snail shells, porcupine quills, snake skins, birch bark, seed pods, wasp nests.....It sits proudly on the mantel above our wood stove, for everyone to admire. The display box not only protects that sometimes fragile treasures inside, it is a constant reminder of what beautiful pieces of art those little bits of nature really are.
There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object that he looked upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child,
And the grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover,
and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter,
and the mare's foal and the cow's calf....