Thursday, 28 June 2012

Moments in between...

My heart sings to the tune of one song at the moment "Appreciate the little things". Today's walk was full of little things, the tiny white moth that fluttered out from the grass at my feet, the grand looking heron that swooped over my head, the fresh summer rain that cooled me down, all so insignificant yet so beautiful.

I was trudging through the field at the top of the hill next to the small parish church and noticed another small thing, on the edges of the field which is planted with beans this year, few stalks of wheat, seeded from last years crop are pushing their way up through the beans, this made me think...

...I started to think of all the small seeds we plant in our kids as they are growing up, we often think we are having no effect, but then years later they shoot up and bear fruit when we think the season has past... I thought about my own childhood, one of my favourite things was snuggling in the arm chair at the end of the day next to my dad while he read me 'Swallows and Amazon' stories tales of adventure in the Lake District, this was just one small seed that has sparked a life long love of the Lake District. I have always longed for the adventures of sailing on Lakes, camping and mountain climbing.

I can see my boys imaginations being sparked by books and inspired for adventure, especially Bear Grylls Junior edition of 'Mud, Sweat and tears' . My youngest son is reading it in bed every night and gives me enthusiastic book reviews over breakfast in the morning (along with bad jokes, thanks Aunty & Uncle for buying him a joke book for his birthday!).

Well I am going to keep enjoying the little things, this blog will probably end up full of them.

Here's a bad photo of a picture on my wall that says it well...

... the caption is "Life is not about the big catch, its about the moments in between."

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Where your feet tread...

I love walking, today was no exception when I headed out with my dog early this morning. The wheat fields are so tall now when you look out over them they are like a soft shimmering golden carpet. I take great delight in walking through them running my fingers over the tops of them.

The sun was shining today, with a fresh breeze blowing my hair as I refreshing. Skylarks added music to my walk and swallows were swooping by so energetically.
When I tread the paths across the small valley where I live, I always get the feeling that they belong to me. It's as though as I trudge through the fields and woods they become mine. My love for them grows as I watch the seasons change and enjoy the little surprises and stories they bring, like when I looked up one morning and saw a Little Owl swoop on to the branch above my head, and I paused for a while excited to watch it, or when I past under a tree and heard a Cuckoo sing out above me, and then the sad moment in mid winter when I found a fox that didn't survive the cold.

Walking seems to be special some how, if I drove past the same lanes and fields in a car or even a bicycle it wouldn't belong to me in the same way. The slow steady passage of a walker, stepping in the mud, avoiding the nettles, getting wet feet in the puddles, it's becomes part of you, remains in your heart.

I see Home ed like this too, as I walk through life slowly and steadily with my kids, it's like we belong, you start to notice the seasons of their lives, see the small changes in their learning. You enjoy the small things again, like this morning my youngest and I took time to play guitars together and learn a new song, we spent a good few hours lingering on it, trying to make a pleasant sound... Happy days.

"Where your feet tread belongs to you...

 ... my little valley."

Monday, 25 June 2012

Catching petals...

I am very excited, as I am planning a trip to the Lake District with my boys. I had this in my heart to do for a number of years, but this year my heart is singing with joy at the idea of it. This could be for a number of reasons, one of which is I am feeling fitter and more energetic than I have in a long while, thanks to No Excuses Workouts, or just that it's the right time.

In their usual competitive style both boys are very motivated by the thought of climbing the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, and another mountain which I have loved from my youth, Helvellyn, which has a scary looking edge to scramble along.

A quick google search for Helvellyn (mainly because I wanted the correct spelling) revealed a poem by Sir Walter Scott. He tells a romantic description of the mountainside and of how he came upon the spot where a walker had died and the story of the walkers faithful dog had remained at his side for months until found by a shepherd.  Wainwright also wrote a poem about this 'Fidelity'.

Well I remember as a child coming across the commemorative stone of this tale that some one has erected on the mountain, being a romantic it has remained in my heart for years, the story of the faithful dog who never left his masters side...I am wondering what the boys will think seeing it, knowing their personalities, I think my eldest will be fascinated and curious to know more and my younger son will be touched by the romanticism much like I was, and give his own dog a big hug.

This is when my home education head takes note, I will read the poems to my boys when we are back in our tent after the expedition. The moment of standing on the mountain, surrounded by wild beauty, with a distant tale of old in your head is when children's imaginations and interest is sparked. These learning moments are like catching petals falling from a tree, you have to quickly seize the moment but not too tightly or you crush the petal, then know when to drop it before you spoil it's beauty.