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This is Curly Cook’s (L) caterpillar “Nature”.  She LOVES to catch things and keep them all for herself.  She is especially excited, and blessed, when she finds caterpillars because they are not easy to find.  Sadly, this one was freaky looking.  It was an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar and it will grow to be a HUGE, colorful moth. But the last caterpillar she caught, it dried up before we could let it free.  And who really wants to let a MOTH free?  Hello!?!?

But thankfully the “real” nature is available to us all.  It is a perfect teacher and helps us understand trust, faith, fairness, versatility, strength, truth, beauty, and that ALL things are created to become something beautiful, even ugly looking caterpillars.  I am truly grateful for the opportunity to teach my children the truth that I feel, deep inside of me.  I am thankful to live on a beautiful earth that was created to bring my eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet and soul so much joy and pleasure.  I love the sounds of nature, the smells of the earth and the sights of all the varieties of beauty.

I am especially grateful I had a grandmother who exemplified this attribute of appreciation for the beauty of this earth.  I imagine constantly that my own grandmother is literally bounding with joy whenever I brush my fingertips across a beautiful flower, so unique and even weird, for what I imagined a flower could become.

 This world is FILLED to the brim with beauty.  I hope and pray to use this next school year to its fullest to explore, create and enjoy the nature that is all around us.  I hope you will come along for the ride.

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