Never wonder where your sense of wonder went

This post originally appeared in Dr. Rachel A. Larimore’s weekly Samara newsletter on October 3, 2023. If you’re interested in receiving these emails, scroll to the bottom of this page to subscribe.

I’m guessing you’re well aware that I am passionate about sharing the power of nature to awaken young children’s sense of wonder. I also focus  a lot on defining the WHY of our work. 

Well, while relaxing at a recent concert these two things hit me in a new way. 

Let me set the scene…I was listening to Mark Erelli who was opening and playing guitar for the amazing songwriter Lori McKenna. I was in the front row of an intimate listening room as Mark gently strummed his acoustic guitar and said, “This one is called Sense of Wonder.”


At first I thought “Yes! The world is amazing and this is why nature-based education matters–for a child’s sense of wonder.” Children have an instinctive sense of wonder. In nature-based education we’re  giving them space to experience it.

Then, the second verse…

“Every day a new frontier

The backyard was a jungle green and wild

But it gets harder to remember

What came as second nature to a child

You know the names of all the roads

The lawn needs to be mowed

There’s work to pay the bills and make the rent

You might wake up one day and never wonder

Where your sense of wonder went”

~Mark Erelli

That’s when it hit me…maybe another WHY of this work is to maintain a sense of wonder in adults! 

Maybe nature-based education ensures that we as teachers will hold onto our own sense of wonder. Our sense of wonder in nature. Our sense of wonder in children. 

And maybe our work does the same for parents of the children who attend our programs.

My wish for you, our profession, and the world is in the final words of the “Sense of Wonder” song: “Hold onto your sense of wonder/ Keep yours for me and I’ll keep mine for you.” 

Keep changing lives,


Rachel A. Larimore, Ph.D., Chief Visionary of Samara Learning

P.S.—Check out recent media coverage aimed at helping parents understand nature-based preschools!


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