And so we rejoice with the children in their pleasure in nature, their delight in flowers and forest, their happiness in horses, dogs, cows, goats, and rabbits, and their joy in deer and birds and everything else that lives.
All real children live in and with nature. Wherever they look, the living soul of nature is immediately obvious to them. It is not hard for the educator to show to a sensitive child the creative power at work everywhere, to point out the relationship of unity in nature, the mutual help, which is the secret of this creation.
In every child there lives – right from the beginning – a love for the earth, a joy in the starry universe, an enthusiastic interest in the mysteries of atoms and organisms; all this is ready to come to life in each child as love to God and to Christ, the Logos who creates and transforms everything.
Children do not find God as nature itself, nor in nature. They find him above and behind the whole of nature, behind the entire creation – never in any one part of creation.
Any educator who is truly called to such a task can open up to each child the mystery of birth, the awakening of the childlike spirit and later that child's adult consciousness, and – last but not least – the mystery of the second birth, which takes place when God breaks into the human heart.
Adapted from Children’s Education in Community (Walden, NY: Plough, 2017).
Article edited for length and clarity.