Welcome ...
This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where are we now ... ?

So, after a long time away from this blog, I'm back to say ... you can now find me on Facebook at 'The Ecology of Childhood' ... a website is on it's way and I will announce here when it's up and running.  

Trust your journey has been rich with learning since my last post and continues to be from here on.

Monday, April 8, 2013

... and so ...

Down at the Farm has been having a rest from blogging for a while.  For those who visit or pop in for a moment ... just wanting you to know that we haven't disappeared or come to a halt.  Won't be long before we are back here to share more ... or ... may even be, we re-emerge in a new form.  In the mean time ... thanks for visiting, trust you feel the love and enjoy your time here !!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Full circle becomes an ending ...

Well, I thought we'd closed a chapter on part of our experience of life at the farm and  yet, another turn has been taken in the story.

Many of you know about the ash saplings that were cut on the bike path, and the story that followed.   For those who don',t you can find it hereherehere and here .

... another chapter unfolded this week.

Having had the luxury of time at the farm, I've been able to bear witness to things that happen over time ... and see the deeper pattern or story of life unfolding as it takes shape  ... I have thoroughly felt the privilege of this. 

As I entered the farm on Monday, I bumped into Michael, the man who we first went to... to find out the fate of the little clump of Ash trees that had disappeared.

He had news to bear.  The big Ash tree had died ... and in the moment he told me I felt deeply that this news was to do with how deeply interconnected life is.

After that little clump of Ash disappeared and the community went through it's process of shock and grief and loss; the children stopped visiting and playing as they used to ... many, many families now just walked by, or had a very different relationship with that tiny area of land.

Occasionally I would walk down there with the children with me ... the landscape had changed and so too had all the relationships connected to that landscape.   The creativity and imagination that had been poured out and into the environment, the songs, the dance, the love, the fire and passion the games and imaginative play that I'd been witness too had ended ... and within two years, the parent tree had died.

I'd noticed this tree change and become old and brittle and saw that it didn't hold it's leaves like it used to ... and while there may be any number of logical, botanical or explainable reasons as to why this tree had died ... I knew I was seeing that it slowly died after the community of relationships it shared had ended.

This to me is the nature of having a relationship with a place and the natural world.  It teaches us profoundly.

The branches on the tree and deadwood will be lopped, and there will be something to climb on left ... yet could it be that with that one little change to the environment ... the removal of a little clump of ash trees, growing right next to the mother tree and bringing joy and love to hundreds of children ... the mother tree died with the loss of all that it loved and felt loved and sustained by energetically ...

I wonder ...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ted Smith ...

In the string of goodbyes that have happened of late ... here we come to the last.

Ted Smith ...

Ted we've covered so much ground I hardly know where to start ... hmm .. how about here ... with a peek at the little Ted that first came along to the farm ...

With Magnus who you adored (and he adored you too Ted)

If there was to be one word only that I could choose to describe you Ted ... it would have to be passionate.   From when we first met up until now, you have not ceased to share your passion with us.  Passionate love for your friends, passionate curiosity about life.   Passionate determination when you set your mind to something, passionate inquiry when you want to understand something ... passionate love of football (Go the Hawks!)

You are switched on Ted and passionate about life.   It has been so satisfying to be on the other end of.   We know when you are happy and we know when you aren't ... and you can show enormous patience and will, when we are trying to cross the gap between the two.

It's like you've had journeys within a journey.   There was your first year with Jyra and Dakota and Magnus and Ari ...  there was just so much love between you all that friday mornings started to be a little mill around in a pool of love together ... often for ages, we'd all just feel the love and be in it together.   

Magnus was your idol and he was such a great person for you to look up to and be inspired by.   He always gave his best and had a heart as big as yours.  High voltage met high voltage when it came to heart power between you both.

We weathered the changes when lots of faces left and new ones came ... and in time, guess what Ted ?  You and I were in love again with a whole new gang and a whole new way and it too has been really good.

Ari, has been your loyal and loving friend and sometimes, Ari's sweetness comes out most when you are happy.

We've seen you master the Peppercorn tree and then master the big hill near the Oak Tree... You've been muddy from head to toe and have had the stamina to walk for hours.   There isn't any type of weather that you haven't been thoroughly immersed in and we've idled some hours by the fire.

In the time it's taken for our latest little gang to bond, you've found yourself in the best of company with Frieda, Ari, Yoshi and Olivia.   Strong personalities, strong energy and lots of sensitivity and love in the mix too.   For you it's been great and vice versa ... and I've often had a 'Thank god it friday moment at the end of my week ... ' ... not thank god it's nearly over, but divine thanks for the blessing of the company I keep on that day.    There's been a lot of love shared and a lot of fun had.

You are so loved Ted and almost like an institution at the farm after such a long time ... like Fridays and Ted and the farm have all belonged together no matter what.

You don't shy away from anything Ted ... even a good dance!

You and the brothers getting a little creative with a hat dance ...


Ari watching over you constructing ..

Cubby Fun with Frieda ...

Ted you have such a great support team at home ... Andy, Luke, Isabel and Kitty ... and all the family beyond that, who I've heard about and got to know over the years.

You've given us all so much love, helped us all to grow and learn, laughed with us and at us and haven't minded when we've all had a good laugh at you.  We love you very much Ted and will miss your enthusiasm, intelligence and yes ... have to say it one more time ... your passion.

Good bye Ted ... safe travels and one thing is for sure ... it won't be a dull journey for you !

Cracking up ...

Farrah, Roxy, Archie, Monty and Reuben spent a beautiful morning at the farm today.   Miles were covered with loads of beautiful moments where we encountered the animals ... the sheep, the goats, some calves, some horses.  

A group of older people sat near where we picnicked and the question of the moment was, 'Why have they got cracks in their faces?'  Now that was a great conversation ... and at moments on the inside, it was cracking me up!

At another point in the day, Farrah announced, 'Danella, you're hilarious' ... then added after only a moments pause, 'but not that hilarious.' ... as if to say, just don't get carried away with yourself now that I've told you that.

Here's just one peek at each child on this very beautiful day ...

Archie ...

Roxy ...

Monty ...

Reuben ...

Farrah ...

The dynamic duo of the day ... Archie and Reuben