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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 ...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Changing landscapes ...

Last wednesday saw Finn, Omkara and Pepper spend the day at the farm and in our travels we had the most unexpected of things happen.

In the afternoon, we walked up through the convent gardens and out the back towards the bike path heading for 'Our Special Tree', a little clump of Ash tree-lings that have been part of our world for years.

All of a sudden Finn calls, 'Look, look Da-nilla' and there before us were stumps on the ground where 'Our Special Tree' had once stood.

We were all instantly in shock.

What had happened ... who did this ... and ... where had it gone?

A thousand worlds of imaginative play had disappeared and we didn't know why.

This little clump of trees had grown in such a way that it provided the most sacred of places for imagination to unfold. 

In the warmer months alive and green, you could enter into an area, surrounded through the way the tree had grown, with 'rooms' or pockets of space that became many things.

... ... a home, a pirate ship, a space ship, a zoo, fairyland, nests, homebase for world and space travel, a magnificnet kitchen full of busy hands creating meals ... ... world after world had opened up in that space through the childrens imagination and love.

In the cooler months we'd see the leaves disappear and the whole space become spindly and wiley looking and more open sparce play would take shape.  Somewhere to meet and decide what to play outside the space.

One much loved clump of Ash trees ...
I couldn't answer any of the children's questions about what, who  and why.  I could only be with them, feeling the shock, hearing the questions and seeing before my eyes the scar that was there for us all where once our imaginal world had thrived.

We would walk this path now and remember, we would walk this path and miss. 

We may even walk this path and wish, that just for a day 'Our Special Tree' was there again.

I promised the children I would find out before we saw each other again, just what had happened.

On our way back to the farm, we noticed that this wasn't the only tree to have disappeared.  There was also a tiny wayward apple tree just outside the convent grounds that we loved and often took a moments rest at. 

It was good for hiding in, shading under, resting near and we'd see the fruit come and go and take with us any apples that had dropped to feed the horses or to just to treasure and play with.

On returning to the farm, I found out that no one at the farm knew either what had happened to the trees ...

I later rang the council, to keep my promise to find out what had happened.  

I found out that part of the city's treescaping involves removing from time to time any self seeding or weed plant growing close to the Yarra River to protect our water ways and native species. 

The biological ecology of the trees being removed made sense .. .. .. and yet the ecology of the heart and spirit of the community were the part of the picture and awareness that we were feeling.

From our view of the world, no one knew why or how or who, it just happened.

I shared, from my perspective in my call with the council, what that tree has meant in the lives of the children I know and also what I know that tree means to many other children and their families who walk that path. 

It has been a source of sustenance, wonder and magic in all our lives and the importance of talking with people about even small changes like that to their landscape is something that matters.

Next week, I will tell the children what I know and will see them grow in awareness too. 

Harvey will be with us and soon Agnes back from Norway (we all miss her and really look forward to that), so we'll be re-telling our story and getting used to our changed landscape.

What we all have that will never change are the imprints in our hearts of the worlds that we all knew through that little clump of Ash trees.

Omkara resting and cosy earlier in the day ...

Finn ...

Peppercorn drinking from a fairy pool ... ... droplets of rain that have gathered in a nasturium life like a ball of liquid silver ...

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