“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour.” – William Blake
We’ve been collecting bits and pieces of things from nature from around our area. We have a basket full of fascinating little treasures like seedpods, gum-nuts, feathers, dried flowers and seashells. I saw this beautiful nature play activity over at little eco footprints and it gave me the idea to pick up little bits on our walks around the place. I got out the basket this morning so Little Man could have a look through it all. He was taken by the shells and spent ages tipping them out of the jar and putting them back in one by one. Such simple pleasures! It’s such a tiny introduction to nature but I want Mister E to have these tactile and sensory explorations of the natural world around us. Even if we do live in the suburbs.
I am reading a book at the moment called last child in the woods, it’s got me thinking about my childhood. I spent a good part of my childhood on a remote Aboriginal community near Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. As children we spent lots of time exploring the creeks and rivers and hills around the place. We’d lose hours on end discovering new secret places to hide and play and discover. We would go camping with our parents in the middle of nowhere, on the river banks on our swags under the stars. I remember not too far from our house lived a bowerbird and every couple of weeks I’d go have a look at what he’d collected to newly adorn his impressive nest. He always had shells and shiny bottletops and blue pegs that he must have pinched from under our clothes line. I always wondered where he got the shells, i’d never seen them anywhere else. At the time of course I didn’t think about it, but now I realise that these experiences and this closeness to nature was special. The isolation of the community gave us the freedom to roam around unsupervised in the bush. I want Mister E to be able to have the same opportunity and freedom to run and play and explore the natural environment for himself. I wonder how I will be able to offer him that kind of childhood living in the city.
For a start we have our nature basket and our veggie garden that we’ve planted together. We’ll have to go camping. Not being from WA I am not clued into best childhood camping spots. Does anyone have a favourite they could recommend?
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” – Rachel Carson
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