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Ever since she was tiny …

Communing with the big trees in Muir Woods this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice this little girl.

Caitlin

She was in a stroller being rolled along the path by her mother and suddenly she began to kick up a fuss. Crying inconsolably, she was urgently gesturing backwards, pointing to a spot in the creek that lie just on the other side of the railing. Her mother seemed to understand, stopped and backed up.

Immediately the child quit crying, staring mesmerized at a little water eddy in the fast-running brook that followed the path, reaching out her hand as if to touch it. She sat motionless for several minutes, looking intently at the scene in front of her.

Creek

When she was satiated and they continued walking I went up to her mother to ask if she often had that kind of a reaction. Her mother said yes, she did, absolutely. Ever since she was tiny she was crazy about being in nature. I asked if I could photograph her, and her mother agreed. Her name was Caitlin, I learned; “Her father is Irish”.

As they disappeared away down the path beyond me, I could see at least one reason Caitlin loved nature. Her mother and grandfather were talking softly to her and each other about what they were seeing and experiencing; thumping the expanse of huge stumps so she could hear the sound of the wood, bending down to pick up leaves for her to touch and taste and see. One could almost see the "Love of Life & Nature" transmission pass between them.

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